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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: GHG Ruling, JBS-Greenpeace Lawsuit, German Grid

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia voted 6-2 to reject a request for the full court to reconsider a June ruling that allowed the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The court’s action could set up a Supreme Court challenge by industry, energy firms and the state of Alaska, which were pushing for the rehearing, The Hill said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet released new nationwide grid plans which include the accelerated construction of 2,800 km of new high-voltage power lines. The new transmission lines will transport power from offshore and coastal wind turbines to industrial areas in southern and western Germany. The project will be completed within four years rather than 10 years and cost about €10 billion ($13.2 billion), Reuters said.

Global meat company JBS has withdrawn a lawsuit against Greenpeace for false claims and renewed a promise not to purchase cattle from restricted areas in Brazil. Greenpeace said that JBS was breaking a 2009 accord among Brazilian meat packers that promised not to purchase cattle raised on illegally deforested lands. The group will reevaluate its claims, after JBS published an independent audit of its cattle purchases in the Amazon region, Reuters said.

The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board in the UK has determined that 97 percent of the country’s rapeseed, all of its sugar beets and 84 percent of its wheat meet environmental standards for use in biofuels. The crops meet all EU criteria on greenhouse gas emissions, and may freely enter the biofuel supply chain based on data that included crop yields, fuel and fertilizer use, soil organic matter and oil content in rapeseed, Bloomberg said.

Norway has announced plans to increase efforts to reduce tropical deforestation as a fast-acting measure to slow climate change. Norway has made annual investments worth $500 million into tropical deforestation projects in recent years. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg that other fast-acting measures to consider include cuts in industrial emissions of soot and methane, and reductions in subsidies for the use of fossil fuels, Reuters said.

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency and administrators from Japan’s Fukushima prefecture signed a memorandum of cooperation. The agreement aims to promote cooperation for radiation monitoring and remediation and other human health issues in the event of a nuclear accident, the UN News Center said.

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