INDIGENOUS PERUVIANS WIN PAYOUT FROM US OIL GIANT
An Indigenous group in Peru has been awarded an undisclosed sum from Occidental Petroleum after a seven-year legal battle to stop the US company polluting their land. The money will be spent on community health and development projects. The group, who live in the Amazon, sued the company for poisoning rivers in the rainforest. The March 6 Guardian reported: “One of the plaintiffs, Adolfina Sandi alleges her 11-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter died after drinking water from the contaminated river.” The case has set a precedent for US companies that are accused of environmental violations overseas.
QANTAS LIFTS NO-FLY BANS ON REFUGEE PROTESTERS
Qantas has lifted its ban on two passengers who were involved in a refugee protest involving the airline last month. The two were on a flight that was transferring an asylum seeker from Melbourne to Darwin. Refugee advocates leafleted passengers at the airport, requesting they stop the flight by refusing to take their seats. After the passengers refused to take the flight, Qantas issued an indefinite no-fly ban for all Qantas and Jetstar flights.
A community campaign demanded Qantas lift the ban. One of the banned passengers, Paul Leary, said in a statement: "My colleague and I have been amazed by the level of support we have received and it also shows the level of community support for a change in the government's treatment of asylum seekers.”
Advocates are still calling on Qantas to stop transferring refugees.
UN BACKS FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT CAMPAIGN
The United Nations has backed the global fossil fuel divestment campaign and said the “age of ‘burn what you like, when you like’ cannot continue”. A day later, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund - the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund - announced it was selling its shares in some of Australia’s largest coal companies, including Adani, Whitehaven and Peabody. Whitehaven Coal owns the Maules Creek coalmine in Leard creek, which has been subject to ongoing protests. Adani is the owner of the Carmichael coalmine and the Abbot Point coal port expansion in Queensland.