An explosion at Aricell’s lithium metal battery factory in Hwaseong city in South Korea killed 23 workers in late June 2024. Most of the dead were low paid and undocumented female migrant workers from China who had not received properly training in industrial safety, according to their family members.

A proposed US$2.5 billion open-pit copper and iron mining complex, under development by Andes Iron, that would have threatened Humboldt penguins and other marine species, has been denied permission to proceed after a years-long legal battle fought by local communities and environmental groups. The project was also embroiled in a corruption scandal linked to former president Sebastian Pinera.

Spills from Petroperú’s oil drilling have devastated the Marañón river in Peru for some 50 years. In order to tackle the pollution, a group of Kukama Indigenous women sued the government and Petroperú asserting that the river is a living entity with rights that should be protected. In March 2024, a court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered the company to clean up the river.  

Petrochemicals group Kolmar, based in Zug, Switzerland, sued three journalists and two NGOs, for publishing a report alleging that the company was sourcing refined oil from the Zawiya refinery in Libya during the civil war. In February 2024, a Swiss court found that the report was in the public interest and ruled against Kolmar.

A KLM ad campaign that claimed customers could “fly sustainably” was declared illegal by a Dutch court in historic win against greenwashing, after the company was sued by Fossielvrij NL (Fossil-Free Netherlands) and Reclame Fossielvrij.

Rio Tinto Zinc is quietly trying to restart a $2.4 billion plan to dig for lithium in the Jadar region of Serbia two years after the original mining permit was canceled in response to a massive popular uprising in 2022.

Tourist visits to the ruins of Machu Picchu, a historic Inca city in the Andes, are a major source of income for Peru. After the government turned over sales of entrance tickets to the site to Joinnus, a private company, an indefinite general strike was declared by local business owners, residents and travel unions. After a week long blockade, the government canceled the privatization.

Online retail behemoth Amazon actively lobbies European political institutions to help increase its profits. However, the company twice refused to testify on labor concerns in the last two years and denied official delegations access to warehouses. After Members of the European Parliament and NGOs complained, the company’s access to European Parliament buildings was revoked in February 2024.

Three new diabetes drugs have recently taken the world by storm: Ozempic, Mounjaro and Wegovy – because they also help users lose weight. But in recent months over 50 lawsuits have been filed against Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, the drug makers, for alleged side effects such as stomach paralysis.

Empresa de Energía del Pacífico (EPSA) dumped over 30 years of accumulated sediment from the Anchicayá dam in western Colombia in July 2001, polluting the river, killing fish, destroying farmlands and mangroves. The Afro-Caribbean community downstream sued EPSA and finally won Col$203,962 million (US$52 million) in compensation in February 2024, after 20 years of court battles. 

Glencore was given a permit to build a dredging waste dump site to serve the McArthur River Mine lead and zinc extraction operation in Australia’s Northern Territories. The regional government was sued by members of the Yanyuwa and Yanyuwa-Mara community (who hold Aboriginal title to the site) for failing to consult them. The High Court of Australia ruled in the community’s favor in February 2024.

Engenia, Tavium and Xtendimax — three weedkillers sold by Bayer, Syngenta and BASF respectively — share a common toxic ingredient: dicamba. First approved for use in the U.S. in 2016 on certain crops, the three weedkillers were outlawed in 2020 after they were found to kill other crops.

Climate activist Mike Smith, a Māori elder in Aotearoa (New Zealand), sued seven of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the country to publicly admit that they caused a public nuisance and dramatically scale back emissions to reach net zero by 2050. In February 2024, New Zealand’s Supreme Court ruled that his lawsuit should b

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