[ba-unrev-talk] Fwd: [issues] News from Johannesburg (2)
>From: elohimjl <email@example.com>
> 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
>"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
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