June 5, 2002 – On World Environment Day, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) calls on governments around the world to urgently respond to global concerns on corporate globalisation. As a first step, they should rescue the Earth Summit negotiations taking place in Bali, Indonesia today. Non-governmental groups have agreed that the talks are in crisis.

Governments have been watering down the few meaningful targets and timetables still on the table at the Fourth Preparatory Meeting for the Earth Summit and are not making enough financial resources available for achieving sustainability.

Friends of the Earth International warns governments, that if they continue to use the Earth Summit to make sustainable development subservient to the trade agenda promoted by the WTO, they will face a global backlash.

FoEI is alarmed by the lack of meaningful commitments appearing in the present negotiating text and is appalled that countries like the USA are objecting even to these. The US administration continues to negotiate on behalf of the American fossil fuel lobby and refuses to accept that a phase-out of fossil fuels and a global shift to renewable energies are urgently required.

FoEI calls on the EU and G77 countries to not allow the USA to hold the world to ransom. Instead they should use the Johannesburg Summit to give global answers to the problems caused by economic globalisation. FoEI is also concerned that the negotiations in Bali are increasingly being conducted like the ones at the WTO, with “key countries” stitching up deals behind closed doors.

Ricardo Navarro, Chair of Friends of the Earth International comments: “We are truly worried for the world. Governments are not taking their earlier made commitments seriously. If things continue as they are, the Earth Summit will be a step back from Rio. It is ironic that on World Environment Day, more and more decisions are taking place behind closed doors – reminiscent of procedures in the WTO. This is our world – and on World Environment Day, Ministers must act swiftly and decisively to save it.”

A two-page FoEI statement “Keep the WTO out of the Earth Summit” is available in Bali and via ronnieh(at)foe.co.uk .

In Bali: 08179711394 or
Daniel Mittler, Campaign Coordinator, +49 173 923 4747
Or call Ed Matthew on +44 7810 558 249