Earth Summit: After days of intense negotiations, leaders settle on a blueprint to keep the planet alive
Independent

.... Below are the headline resolutions signed by world leaders in Johannesburg 03 September 2002

ENERGY

The agreement
Failed to set any targets increasing renewable energy, thus falling short of one of the most important yardsticks for success. It did agree to phase out harmful subsidies "where appropriate", but included passages boosting nuclear power and the fossil fuels that are the main cause of global warming.
How it was reached
The way in which the world gets its energy was the most important issue at the summit, and the last big one to be settled. Attempts to increase the rate of renewable energy -- wind, wave and solar -- were stymied by opposition from the world's major oil producers (Opec) and oil's biggest consumer, the United States.
The EU and Latin America wanted a global target to boost the use of renewable energy sources, but the US, Japan and Opec (which managed to persuade most of the rest of the developing countries) frustrated all attempts to establish one. Latin America wanted to quadruple the world's share of clean renewable energy -- such as solar and wind power -- by 2010. The EU settled on a more modest target which would have increased it by just one per cent over the decade and included controversial big dams and the wood and dung burning that kill more than two million people a year. Green groups accused the US of getting the world to toe the line of its domestic oil lobby, an accusation Washington rejected. Meanwhile, ratifications to the Kyoto protocol on climate change increased to 89. But this number is almost irrelevant since the treaty will not come into force until countries emitting 55 per cent of the world's carbon dioxide ratify, and there is still some way to go to that. The United States pulled out of Kyoto last year. The agreed summit text says nations that have ratified Kyoto "strongly urge" the other states to ratify it in "a timely manner".
Will it make a difference?
It will not do much good, and could make things worse. But some developing countries announced that they would press ahead with renewable energy anyway.

WATER AND SANITATION

The agreement
Agreement was reached on a specific target to halve the estimated 2.4 billion people presently living without basic sanitation facilities by the year 2015.
How it was reached
The main opposition to this commitment came, once again, from the United States. Washington long opposed the goal, mainly because it has a longstanding aversion towards setting targets in principle. "It is no secret that targets for targets sake have never been a priority," said the US Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, John Turner.
But, as the week went on, the United States became more and more isolated, with allies on other contentious issues -- like the Opec countries, Canada, Japan and even the big business lobby -- calling for the target to be agreed. In the end it had no choice but to give in. Standing alone against providing adequate sanitation for people was just too much even for George Bush's administration to take.
The deal, reached in the early hours of yesterday morning, was welcomed by many development charities as marking an important step towards preventing more than two million deaths a year from diseases caused by people drinking dirty water. It completes plans laid out in the United Nations' 2000 Millennium Declaration to halve, by 2015, the number of people -- more than a billion -- who are unable to reach, or afford, safe drinking water.
Reaching agreement on this target was the minimum condition for the summit being able to claim that it had made any progress at all. Failure to agree it would have been a clear signal that the leaders -- for all their rhetoric, did not care about the health of poor children. It would have reduced the conference to a fiasco.
Will it make a difference?
Yes, if nations act now to implement what they have promised to do. It could drastically cut the number of people, mainly children , who die because they drink polluted water.

POVERTY

The agreement
To establish a solidarity fund to wipe out poverty, "the greatest global challenge facing the world today". But contributions to the fund are voluntary.
How it was reached
The over-arching aim of the Johannesburg Earth Summit was to bridge the income gap between the world's richest and poorest, while ensuring the environment is not harmed in the process. But the sprawling agenda and divergent interests meant there were compromises aplenty in the summit agreement, some of which were attacked by civic and environmental groups as significant steps backward from previous commitments.

Promises and pledges came from a number of different world leaders:

The French President, Jacques Chirac, called for an international solidarity tax to fight world poverty, telling the summit that current levels of development aid were inadequate. The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, announced that Italy was prepared to cancel 4bn (£2.5bn) in debt to poor countries. Germany offered 500m (£318m) over five years for renewable energy projects. Japan promised $30m (£19m) in emergency food aid for children facing famine in southern Africa.
The income gap between the richest nations and the poorest, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, has widened enormously over the last few decades. Per capita income in many countries is now lower than it was 20 years ago.

The number of people living on less than $1 a day declined slightly in the Nineties, to 1.2 billion from 1.3 billion largely because of progress in India and China. But in the richest couple of dozen countries, average income per head is more than $60 a day while Americans have nearly $100 a day.
Will it make a difference?
Not a lot. The real goals -- to halve dire poverty by 2015 were decided by the Millennium Summit two years ago. The test will be whether countries meet them.

AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES

The agreement
To end the subsidies that encourage the plundering of Third World fisheries by the West and restore fish stocks by 2015 at the latest, recognising oceans are essential to the ecosystem and a critical source of food, especially in poor countries.
How it was reached
The first significant deal of the summit. All 190 countries agreed to restore all the world's fisheries to commercial health by 2015. The deal, reached on the second day of negotiations, means all countries will be responsible for reversing declines in fish stocks or maintaining them at a healthy level and ensuring the level of catches is sufficiently low that the fish can be taken indefinitely. But environmentalists said the deal, aimed at replenishing fishing stocks to commercial health by 2015, was a classic example of "too little to late". Fish stocks worldwide are in crisis with more than 70 per cent of commercially important stocks either over-exploited, depleted, or close to the maximum sustainable level of exploitation. Consumption of fish has increased by 240 per cent since 1960
Will it make a difference?
It could do. But the wording of The agreement is not particularly strong, and many fishing nations have so far strongly resisted tough controls.

BIODIVERSITY

The agreement
To make a significant cut to the rate at which rare animals and plants are becoming extinct, by 2010.
How it was reached
Environmentalists expressed dismay at the wording, which is less strong than an equivalent resolution agreed at another international conference as recently as April. The new non-binding proposal is aimed at curbing the destruction of habitats such as rain forests, wetlands and coral reefs, which is driving animal and plant species to extinction. Nobody knows, even within millions, how many species there are on earth, but it seems that human activities are precipitating the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. Great holes could be torn in the web of life, with incalculable consequences. The target was set despite resistance from the US and the G77 group of developing countries, but remains weak and largely meaningless. The Worldwide Fund for Nature said: "The Plan of Implementation will not provide significant movement forwards ... In some cases it actually constitutes a step backwards."
Will it make a difference?
Precious little in itself. There is nothing here but a vague and weak aspiration -- and no concrete measures to make sure that the extinctions are actually slowed.

HEALTH

The agreement
A World Trade Organisation accord on patents should not prevent poor countries providing medicines for all -- a key issue because they often cannot afford Aids drugs.
How it was reached
A disagreement on health is still delaying delegates from finally signing off on the plan, and will be brought up again today.
Women's reproductive rights became a sticking point at the summit. The problems were over a paragraph calling for better health services "consistent with national laws and cultural and religious values".
Some countries feared the wording could endorse the practice of genital mutilation, common in parts of the Horn of Africa. And the United States questioned a reference to human or women's rights, on the ground that it might tacitly endorse abortion, a subject that is still proving to be highly controversial in many parts of the US.
The trouble is that the UN recorded the paragraph as agreed in preliminary negotiations -- even though it was not.
Will it make a difference?
This is a hugely sensitive and potentially explosive issue. We do not know how the differences will be settled, but it is very dangerous to alter international formulas painstakingly put together at previous conferences.

TRADE

The agreement
Boosts trade but avoids laying down that World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules override global environmental treaties. Seen as victory for environmental groups who feared deals such as the Kyoto protocol, and a treaty allowing countries to stop GM imports could be undermined.
How it was reached
Until late on Sunday it looked as if the WTO would be given powers over the environmental treaties. Only Norway and Switzerland were holding out. Then the chief Ethiopian negotiator -- Tewolde Egziabher -- made a speech that dramatically changed opinion, bringing other developing countries and the EU out against the plan and isolating the US. The final text saying nations will "continue to enhance the mutual supportiveness of trade, environment and development" was revised to omit the clause "while ensuring WTO consistency". It veers little from that agreed at a WTO meeting in Doha, Qatar. It repeats commitments to negotiations with a view to phasing out agriculture and other trade-distorting subsidies.
Will it make a difference?
Giving the WTO supremacy would have made a huge and very damaging difference. The change restores an uneasy status quo.
Sept 3 02