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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d92jun98

The fourth and final preparatory meeting for the June U.N. Conference on Environment and Development concluded in New York on April 5, 1992. A major product is Agenda 21, a 700-page action program for sustainable development related to protection of the atmosphere as well as forestry, biodiversity, hazardous waste, oceans, and other areas. Because of continued disagreement over how these initiatives will be funded in developing countries, the funding portion of Agenda 21 has been left to be resolved in Rio, to the great disappointment of most involved in the negotiations. Maurice Strong, secretary-general for the summit, admitted that the text had been seriously watered down (New Scientist, p. 6, Apr. 11, 1992).

The feature article "Last Chance to Save the Planet" (pp. 24-28, May 30) is one of a series in New Scientist on the Earth Summit; it gives a synopsis of 12 topics to be addressed, including climate change. A special report in Intl. Environ. Rptr. (pp. 311-313, May 20) outlines the Agenda 21 draft. The following articles focus mainly on the funding problem:

"Developing Countries Remain Firm in Call for Funds, Technology From Rich," ibid., p. 234, Apr. 22.

"UNCED Preparatory Meeting Ends without Resolving Financing, Other Issues," ibid. pp. 181-183, Apr. 8.

"Who Pays for the Earth Summit?" P. Chatterjee, New Scientist, pp. 13-14, Apr. 11. With the funding of sustainable development unresolved, good intentions are all there is to show for more than a year of preparations.

"Pay Up to Save Earth Summit, Rich Nations Told," F. Pearce, ibid., p. 7, May 2. At a meeting in London, the U.N. Commission on Environment and Development determined the rich nations must offer at least $10 billion a year to carry out Agenda 21 in developing countries. It appears that Japan, not the U.S., is the most likely source of money for Earth Summit commitments.

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