- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
In the end, there were many compromises made. There were some winners and some losers. Some agendas were tabled for discussion later and some were shot down. The European Union was disappointed in the end as they pushed to get specific agreements to have global renewable energy sources at 15 percent by 2010. In the end, they settled for a commitment to "substantially" increase the use of renewable energy sources. The reason given was that these are a rich country's luxury.
There were areas that participants came to agree on.
• Biodiversity - Agree to "significantly reduce" the loss of species by the year 2015.
• Chemicals - Chemicals should be made and used in ways to minimize severe harm on humans and the environment by 2020.
• Climate change - They strongly urge all nations to ratify the 1997 Kyoto protocol in a timely manner.
• Fisheries - The nations agreed to replenish fish stocks by 2015.
• Good Governance - The USA and the EU came together to fashion this resolution. It emphasizes the need to fight corruption and promote democracy.
• Trade - They agree that agricultural and trade-distorting subsides should be phased out. However, it stopped short of eliminating subsidies important to the USA and the EU.
• Water and Sanitation - Reduce by 50 percent the number of people in the world living without clean water and sanitation.
These talks were originally the brainchild of Swedish diplomat Sverker Astrom. Astrom created the first U.N.-led environmental gathering in 1972, Stockholm. That meeting was followed 20 years later in with the Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro.
Astrom was not surprised there were so many problems reaching concensus on the issues. He is quoted on MSNBC.com as saying, "It is the principal of the rule of consensus, which means that the last small state can block what the rest of the world's nations have agreed on. That is an enormous weakening of the forces."