Earth Summit updates
Johannesburg, 26 August - 4 September 2002
Earth Summit updates
ITDGPractical Action reports from Johannesburg:
- 3 September: Earth Summit energy agreement a sham
70,000 reasons why the Summit failed: the WSSD agreement on access to energy, targets and subsidies is a sham offering little hope of getting clean energy to almost a third of humanity.
- 2 September: ITDGPractical Action African Home exhibition at the WaterDome
- 30 August: Technology Transfer and Development
ITDGPractical Action presented a session at the Peoples' Global Forum Commission on Science and Technology, which formed part of the formal NGO report to WSSD.
- 30 August 2002: High-profile launch for Energy Action Plan
The international media were out in force as Elijah Agevi, ITDGPractical Action’s Regional Director for East Africa, launched the joint ITDGPractical Action/Greenpeace Sustainable Energy for Poverty Reduction Action Plan in downtown Johannesburg during WSSD
- 28 August 2002: Confusion over definitions in energy negotiations
- 26 August 2002: The nature of the summit
Live webcast 30 August: Micro-hydro in Peru
Teo Sanchez of ITDGPractical Action Latin America talked about the use and impact of micro-hydro projects in Peru, live via Virtual Exhibit's Sandton Cube in Johannesburg. Now archived on the Virtual Exhibit website
ITDGPractical Action's micro-hydro projects
27 August: ITDGPractical Action has signed the petition against GM Food Aid, to be released at WSSD. "We the undersigned, as representatives or advocates of the people of the Global South, hereby declare our condemnation of the coercive techniques being used by the USA to force the nations and people of the South to accept genetically modified food in food aid shipments."
30 August: Technology Transfer and Development
ITDGPractical Action presented a session at the Peoples' Global Forum Commission on Science and Technology, which formed part of the formal NGO report to the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
- ITDGPractical Action prepared a paper on technology transfer for the Forum,
How to make technology transfer work for human development.
- Download a transcript of the Technology Transfer and Development forum. 129K
Eco Equity at WSSD: download bulletins from the ECO Coalition (Consumers International, the Danish 92 Group, Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace, Northern Alliance for Sustainability, Oxfam International, and WWF) via the Greenpeace site:
- Eco Equity 8: 4 September 2002 137K
"That's all folks"
- Eco Equity 7: 3 September 2002 140K
"The leaders speak"
- Eco Equity 6: 2 September 2002 118K
"It ain't over til it's over"
- Eco Equity 5: 30 August 2002 110K
"Slipping Away: a mid-summit assessment"
- Eco Equity 4: 29 August 2002 116K
"GlobalisatiON and ON and ON"
- Eco Equity 3: 28 August 2002 170K
"EU-US: Sleeping with the enemy" | extracts 27K
- Eco Equity 2: 27 August 2002 118K
"Hey there, EU! What are you doing?"
- Eco Equity 1: 26 August 2002 104K
The Daily Summit offers instant news and comment on WSSD
Earth Negotiations Bulletin - a daily report on negotiations at WSSD
ENB On The Side - daily reports on side events at WSSD
Worldwire - updated every day with news from media around the world, related to the World Summit.
UKabc - agricultural biodiversity, biotechnology and genetic resources issues relevant to WSSD
ITDGPractical Action is not responsible for the content of external websites
The nature of the World Summit
26 August 2002
The summit is being run on the Geneva Process. This is a negotiating process that is based upon consensus: there are various groupings which nominate one country to speak on the their behalf. Key groupings include the EU and Group of 77. The US used to always speak on its own behalf, but there is now a group called JUSCANZ (Japan US Canada Australia and New Zealand).
There are various methods that these groupings use to negotiate with each other, such as contact groups, corridor groups etc. All hush hush - no one knows exactly what is being negotiated because publicly this is never revealed and there is a great deal of ‘poker’ being played. We can get titbits, but nothing is signed and sealed until it is signed and sealed.
Each group proposes changes to the Plan of Implementation on the 25 per cent of the document that has yet to be agreed. This is now an issue of what is in the paragraphs that are not agreed. Sentences are proposed, amended, and it goes down to specific words. All very dull but the life blood of these types of negotiations.
And after all this agony it is not legally binding on any of the parties - so why are they so agitated about a word here or a phrase there? It is the political significance that they have signed up to a public commitment. And like party manifestos when they are transgressed they are used as sticks to beat politicians with.
Confusion over definitions in energy negotiations
28 August 2002
On energy there are two crucial paragraphs that are in negotiation. The EU is supporting a New Zealand proposal to reduce subsidies on fossil fuels and nuclear. This is welcome news. The big opposition to this will come from the likely suspects, notably the US. Another crucial opoosition voice will be within the G77 grouping, as Saudi Arabia and Nigeria will not agree. Countries that could stand up to Saudi Arabia within the G77 are South Africa, Brazil and India. Indonesia would be a 'swing' country but is unlikely to 'swing'. They were heavily lobbied in Bali but did not move on subsidies.
The other crucial outstanding paragraph is the global percentage of renewable energy. On the table is 15% supported by the EU. This sounds good but is in fact baloney because the way renewables are defined is not what we would regard as renewables: large hydro, pollution biomass etc. There is already between 13-14% of global energy of this. Therefore 15% is actually just over 1%. Hardly a step forward - we're talking nano steps.
The Brazilians have proposed 10% 'real' renewables. However the Brazil proposal is outside the process so may not get a look in given that it has to come in through the G77 which, because of Saudis et al, may not see the light of day without a bold move from someone - who Mbeki, Blair?
The UK sustainable energy expert on the delegation says they are using 15% as their first negotiating position, so it is open to the possibility of movement. The 15% that ITDGPractical Action proposes in our position paper is 'real' renewables, ie. Brazil's plus an extra 50%. Therefore on the face of it we appear to agree with the EU stand, which is not the case.
Content on this page last updated 6 September 2002