1. Corporate Accountability 5/10
Governments opened the door to the development of binding international rules to require multinationals to improve practices, but there was no clear commitment on a follow-up mechanism and the US may have secured an opt out. Any progress on this, however, follows huge efforts from Friends of the Earth, who have raised this issue throughout the talks.
2. Trade and Globalisation 2
The free trade agenda dominated the Johannesburg talks. Enshrining the predominance of the WTO over trade, environment and development was partially averted following intense effort by Friends of the Earth and others. But Governments failed to affirm the authority and autonomy of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and merely agreed that negotiations on the MEA-WTO relationship will continue – probably at the WTO! The globalisation section does not even mention the environment.
3. Ecological Debt 0
There has been no formal recognition of the ecological debt owed by the rich countries to the poorer ones, nor of those who suffer as a result, let alone a schedule for discussions on how the issue should be handled. In Rio, the North agreed that they had caused most environmental harm and had therefore to lead the clean up effort. Governments failed to move this forward.
4. Energy and Climate Change 3 so far
The Kyoto Protocol has been reaffirmed but there is unlikely to be a 10% target for new renewable energy or recognition of the need for more ambitious international targets. Contentious discussions continue on this issue.
5. Water and Sanitation 3
Governments inserted weasel words to their much-trailed commitment to halve the number of people without access to water and sanitation by 2015. But they failed to ensure water remains a public good and constrain liberalization and privatisation.
6. Biodiversity 3
There is a weaker target on biodiversity loss than was agreed six months ago in the Hague Biodiversity Convention talks. Now governments only aim to reduce the rate of loss, not eliminate it altogether. There is modest but useful progress on marine protected areas.
7. Aid and Debt 1
No new finance, aid or debt relief targets beyond this year’s Monterray finance Summit were agreed. The long-standing aid-as-0.7% of GDP target was not even mentioned.
8. Subsidies 1
Environmentally damaging subsidies are not dealt with properly. The text on farm subsidies is no different to that agreed in Doha and fossil fuel and nuclear energy are not even mentioned. There is, useful progress on fisheries subsidies.
9. Consumption and Production 2
The Rio plan for a ten year action programme to address over-consumption and damaging production patterns has been dumped in favour of a weaker ‘framework of programmes’.
10. Rio Principles 2 so far
After much disagreement there was in the end no substantial backsliding on commitments such as the precautionary principle and ‘common but differentiated treatment’ so hated by the US. But there have been no steps forward either. Some text on this is still being discussed.
Ricardo Navarro, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, said: “This Summit has failed the poor and vulnerable peoples of the world. It has not reached agreement on the radical action – with clear timetables and targets – needed to tackle the world’s environmental problems, from climate change and renewable energy to forest and species loss. The world’s Governments must agree to meet again and determine that next time they will do better.
But campaigners from around the world can be delighted that we have stopped the worst efforts of the US and giant corporations to subject the world’s environment to the rules of world trade. And Friends of the Earth today celebrates its victory, in the teeth of US resistance, in persuading the Summit to agree that binding international agreements between governments will be needed to control the growing power of international corporations.”
Ricardo Navarro +27 72 401 5392
Tony Juniper +27 72 401 5393
Niccolo Sarno (Media) +27 72 401 5387
Ian Willmore (Media) +27 72 401 5386