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[ba-unrev-talk] Fwd: [issues] News from Johannesburg (2)

>From: elohimjl <elohimjl@mail.zserv.tuwien.ac.at>
>  EU leads pledge to set goals for renewable energy
>Paul Brown and John Vidal in Johannesburg
>Earth summit's weak words spark 30-nation revolt
>Dismay at the weakness of the Earth summit's outcome spilled into the 
>final plenary session in Johannesburg last week when European Union 
>delegates led a protest against the failure to agree global targets for 
>increasing renewable energy production.
>The leaders of more than 30 government delegations promised to go further 
>than the summit declaration that renewable energy's share of global energy 
>production should rise. They agreed to conduct regular reviews of progress 
>towards ambitious targets at the national, regional and "hopefully at a 
>global level".
>"Such targets are important tools to guide investment and develop the 
>market for renewable energy technologies," their statement said. Support 
>came from all 15 EU states, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, 
>Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Brazil, Argentina, Uganda, Mexico, and 
>other Latin American, Caribbean and Pacific states.
>America's isolation on countering climate change was further underlined 
>last week when its only remaining ally, Australia, shifted ground. The 
>prime minister, John Howard, who had insisted that Australia would not 
>ratify the Kyoto protocol to cut greenhouse gas emissions, said he would 
>reconsider its position.
>Another last-minute change was the restoration of a clause on human rights 
>whose original wording was resisted by the US, the Vatican and Islamic 
>states. At their insistence the clause omitted the right of women to 
>contraception and abortion, and hailed the superiority of local cultural 
>and religious values. The US stepped back when it was pointed out that the 
>clause would give tacit approval to such widely condemned local traditions 
>as genital mutilation.
>An attempt by the US to dilute provisions on corporate accountability and 
>regulation was rejected, after objections by Ethiopia and Norway.
>The US secretary of state, Colin Powell, was jeered and slow handclapped 
>during his speech. A wave of anti-American feeling was unleashed when he 
>blamed the land reforms of Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, for 
>pushing millions of people "to the brink of starvation".
>After long wrangling, agreement was finally reached on the political text 
>for the summit, originally written by the conference chairman, the South 
>African president Thabo Mbeki, which was also tough in the area of 
>corporate accountability. This was seen as a victory for environmental 
>groups in their campaign to curb the power of multinationals. But these 
>groups remained angry that so few targets and timetables for action 
>reached the final text. NGOs said that, although the summit's action plan 
>agreed to move towards phasing out export subsidies, the world's 
>governments had failed to grasp the urgency of opening up agricultural 
>markets to developing countries.
>The Guardian Weekly 12-9-2002, page 5
>elohimjl    (01)

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