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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d90jul68

Environmental ministers from 34 western and eastern European nations, the Soviet Union, Canada and the United States met in mid-May 1990 in Norway at the Bergen Conference on Action for a Common Future. Organized by the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe as one of a series of regional meetings leading to the 1992 Conference on Environment and Development, the main topic was policy responses to climatic change. No specific timetable for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions was established, contrary to the urging of the European Community. However, the conference statement asserts that the world must act to prevent environmental disasters such as global warming even in the absence of scientific certainty. Agreement on this "precautionary principle," to which the United States agreed only reluctantly, is viewed as a breakthrough that will allow the development of specific targets for carbon dioxide reductions following the completion of the full IPCC report in August. A reference to financial assistance for developing nations, delicately worded in a manner acceptable to the United States (see next item), was included in an attempt to encourage the participation of India, China and other developing nations at a June meeting in London on strengthening the Montreal Protocol.

For more details see Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 228, June 1990; New Scientist, p. 19, May 26 and pp. 21 and 26, May 19; Nature, p. 279, May 24.

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