Johannesburg, September 4, 2002 – The Earth Summit has broken up after publication of a notably feeble Political Declaration, watered down from the original draft after continued obstruction from the US and a minority of other countries. The Declaration was described by Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) as “yet another betrayal” of the millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world who looked to the Summit for real action on debt, climate change, deforestation, water and many other vital issues. The Political Declaration could have been an opportunity to compensate for the lack of specific targets and timetables in the Plan of Implementation. It is particularly deplorable that the Declaration makes no mention of the need to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The declaration also contains weakened language on corporate accountability.

Commenting, Daniel Mittler, Friends of the Earth International’s Summit Co-ordinator said:

“This feeble and watered down Political Declaration is yet another betrayal of all those around the world who looked to this Summit to tackle the environmental and social crisis facing the planet. What a tragic missed opportunity this Summit has been – thanks to the utterly obstructive tactics of the US and the free market ideology of the corporations that pull political strings in the background. The Declaration’s welcome statement about the importance of multilateral agreements and action lacks credibility given the politics of this Summit. Above all, the US demands international support whenever it feels the need, but refuses international co-operation whenever it chooses. This is not diplomacy. It is the crude and counterproductive application of power.”

Ricardo Navarro (FoEI Chair, El Salvador) +27 72 401 5392
Tony Juniper (FoEI Vice-Chair, UK) +27 72 401 5393
Daniel Mittler (FoEI Summit Co-ordinator, Germany) +27 72 401 5394
Carol Welch (FoE US) +27 82 858 6073
Yuri Onodera (FoE Japan) +27 72 401 5391
Niccolo Sarno (Media) +27 72 401 5387
Ian Willmore (Media) +27 72 401 5386