Summer 2002

U.S. and EU Should Act as Partners in Agricultural Negotiations

Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Franz Fischler, European Commission

The European Union is continuing a process of reform of its agricultural policies that has been underway for ten years or more. We are not abolishing support for our farmers. We shall always have agricultural support, from now till kingdom come. The question is what form it should take.

Our aim is to make the Common Agricultural Policy more market-oriented and to focus on many other aspects beyond the simple production of food. We are progressively shifting our priorities to include environmental benefits, food safety and quality, rural development and simplification of our policy, because it is too difficult to apply and often to understand.

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A Long Decade of Negotiations: The Difficult Birth of the Kyoto Protocol

As a result of what many considered to be increased evidence of human interference with the climate system and growing public concern over global environment issues, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988.

That same year, the United Nations General Assembly held its first debate on climate change and adopted resolution 43/53 on the "Protection of the global climate for present and future generations of mankind (IPCC)." This resulted in 1990 in negotiations conducted by an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for a framework convention on climate change.

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Despite Friction, U.S. and EU Can Cooperate on the Environment

European Commissioner for Environment

To judge from some media reports, the European Union and the United States would appear to be moving in completely opposite directions on environmental policy. There are plenty of examples, however, of how U.S.-EU cooperation has led to important successes.

At global level we have shown that we can achieve significant results when we work together. The Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is one example.

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U.S. Wants Concrete Action at Johannesburg Summit

Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State

At the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha at the end of last year, the world's trade ministers reaffirmed their countries' commitment to an inclusive trading system that promotes sustainable development. They agreed that an open and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system and protection of the environment "can and must be mutually supportive."

At the financial conference in Monterrey, Mexico, this spring, it was agreed that "each country has primary responsibility for its own economic and social development," and that "national development efforts need to be supported by an enabling international economic environment."

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We Need a More Sustainable Civilization

Chairman, the Earth Council

As we look toward the Johannesburg Summit on Sustain- able Development in August, we can see that there are considerable differences in approach between Europe and the United States. But let us remember that these differences in approach are not differences in fundamental interests, or in ultimate goals and purposes.

It is the similarity of those ultimate goals that leads me to believe that Europe and America will in the end come together to make the Johannesburg conference an important milestone on the road toward a more sustainable civilization.

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