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General Analysis on the Environment


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CSOs on climate talks: Stand with us, or step aside (June 11, 2014)

In a common declaration, many different Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including NGOs from the global South and North alike, express their growing dissatisfaction with the current direction of the negotiations since the Warsaw Climate Conference in November last year. They demand serious actions by the member states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was underlined by a protest during the climate negotiation in Bonn last week. Here, they call for increasing public support for climate action and energy transformation. Governments are called on to deviate from the off track in addressing climate change and to find solutions, particularly oriented towards vulnerable countries and their people, according to the CSOs’ motto, “Stand with us, or step aside.” (Volveremos et al.) 

IPCC’s Working Group III: Report on Mitigation of Climate Change (April 15, 2014)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes the third of three Working Group reports in which it warns that climate change will have catastrophic consequences. The international body of scientists and representatives of countries from all over the world assesses and analyses the current state, risks and (possible) consequences of climate change and establishes recommendations for mitigation policies on sub-national, national and global level. In this context the new assessment report, which constitutes the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report on climate change, but which is not approved in detail yet, calls attention to the fast increasing level of CO2 emissions worldwide in the last decade, driven inter alia by economic and population growth. (International Panel on Climate Change)


Linking the current boom of unconventional gas extraction within the broader pattern of land and water grabbing, a new briefing paper by Transnational Institute (TNI) explores where fracking is happening today, who is promoting it, how, and the state of resistance against this potentially harmful practice. (Transnational Institute)

Socioecological Transformations (May 21, 2013)

Due to the multiple crisis of finance and the economy, of climate change and resource depletion, of gender relations, societal integration and political representation, in recent years the term ‘transformation' has become more and more prominent. It has the potential to become a new oxymoron – like ‘sustainable development' and currently ‘green economy' – that opens up an interesting epistemic terrain which might lead to the formulation of diverge political strategies. However, the concept remains blurred. Many contributions refer to the term because it is in fashion but it might become increasingly unclear if there is a certain ‘core of meaning'. However, such a core meaning is not ‘just there' but needs to be worked out. The contributions to this special issue of JEP, that has just recently come out in English, attempt to explore some crucial aspects of this debate by referring to theoretical debates and recent experiences in Latin America, Europe and at the international level. (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation)

Ecuador Treads Fine Line in Preserving Amazon Reserve (January 22, 2013)

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa is taking a new approach to forest conservation, to protect the Yasuni reserve, rich in biodiversity. The reserve sits atop 840 billion barrels of crude oil worth approximately 5.4 billion Euros. To prevent oil exploitation projects, the government suggested a UN administered compensatory trust to fund conservation and social development programs for the indigenous groups living there. The government plans to raise 2.7 billion Euros from countries to protect a section of the reserve known as Yasuni ITT. Although 250 million Euros are pledged, donors like Germany are concerned that the policy would prompt other countries to demand compensation for protecting their natural resources, preferring instead to reward countries that willingly protect these resources. Furthermore, reports that nearby areas in the reserve are already cleared for oil extraction and rumors of ongoing negotiations with oil companies threaten the long-term success of this policy. (Deutsche Welle)



Putting a Price on the Rivers and Rain Diminishes Us All (August 6, 2012)

The UK government recently formed a “Natural Capital Committee” and an “Ecosystem Markets Task Force” to work with businesses in creating market opportunities to “value and protect ecosystem services.” Supporters of this approach claim that pricing nature would create economic incentive for its protection. Ironically, they are actually advocating for more of the same processes that have driven the world’s environmental crisis, namely commodification, financial abstraction and economic growth. Turning the natural world into a subsidiary of the corporate economy represents another transfer of power to corporations and prevents democratic control of the commons. (Guardian) 

Pricing Environmental Assets: Smart Idea, or Fatally Flawed? (June 26, 2012)

At the Rio+20 Conference, governments and businesses launched the Natural Capital Declaration which is a voluntary initiative to integrate “natural capital” into institutions’ financial decision-making. Various non-governmental organizations oppose the declaration’s monetization of the environment and its implication that the root causes of ecological crises are imperfect valuation of “natural capital and ecosystem services.” The declaration fails to acknowledge the role of industries in causing environmental degradation through the commodification of nature. A sustainable solution to the ecological crises would consist of reducing the role of markets and the financial sector in the natural environment and strengthening the democratic control over the world’s ecological commons. (GreenBiz) 

Asia Sees Red Over 'Green Economy' (June 26, 2012)

The recent Rio+20 conference has exposed a gap between the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and some developing Asian countries such as China over the concept of “green economy.” ESCAP promotes “green economy” as a strategy to achieve sustainable development because the region’s economies are vulnerable to price hikes of resources, and a shift to resource efficient growth strategy would be beneficial. However, some activists fear that the increased corporate control of resources and the “green protectionism” in international trade may ignore the concerns in Asia. Larger Asian economies are likely to continue to object to the buzz word “green economy” if it is placed in the context of new internationally-binding prescription for sustainable development in the Global South. (Inter-Press Services)

Global Resources Grab Kills One Person A Week (June 19, 2012)

A recent report by Global Witness finds that at least one person is being killed in an environmental dispute around the world each week. The forms of killings range from clashes between community and state security forces to assassinations of those who spoke against unjust natural resources deals. Brazil, Peru, Colombia and the Philippines had the highest numbers of reported killings in the past ten years. These trends reflect the increasingly violent nature of global land and natural resources acquisitions. (Reuters/Global Witness)

Innovation Is Not Enough: Why Polluters Must Pay (March 13, 2012)

Steven Chu, the US Secretary of Energy and a Nobel laureate, forcefully maintains that what the world needs to tackle climate change is a handful of Nobel-level breakthroughs in energy technology. Energy innovation will make limiting emissions through a carbon price or cap seems unnecessary. This YaleEnvironment360 article disputes this view. Author Gegnor Wagner argues that although innovative energy technologies are necessary for the world to curb carbon emissions, they are by no means sufficient. Policy makers must also cap emissions or put a price on carbon in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. (Yale Environment 360)

To Save the Earth It Is Essential to Change Consumption Patterns (March 1, 2012)

Social Watch, an international network of citizens organizations aimed at eradicating poverty and fighting climate change, has released its annual report specifically looking at the upcoming Rio +20 summit on sustainable development. Social Watch urges governments to opt for a wider understanding of sustainable development, arguing that current consumption and production standards are unsustainable and a testimony to the disproportionate use industrialized countries make of the earth’s non-renewable resources. In order to counter this state of affairs, the world requires “a radical and urgent transformation in current approaches to economic growth and stability and to patterns of production and consumption.” (Social Watch)

Use Rio+20 to Overhaul Idea of Growth, Urges Climate Chief (February 6, 2012)

In this Guardian article, Europe’s commissioner for climate action argues that if Rio+20 is to have far-reaching consequences, governments need to sign a firm resolution to change the way growth is measured. Current models of growth only prize consumption and production, rating countries’ performance according to their GDP. This, in turn, encourages overconsumption of critical resources, pushing up prices for key commodities such as energy or food. To face current environmental problems, the climate change crisis needs to be seen as an integral part of the economic, the social and the job crisis. (Guardian)

The Future We Want (January 10, 2012)

The official document to be negotiated by United Nations Member States in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) has been released. This “zero draft outcome document” is a result of a consultation process which invited all UN Member States, UN system organizations, and civil society organizations to provide inputs and contributions to the Secretariat by November 1, 2011. Although the release of a compilation including such a wide range of voices is to be welcomed, this “zero draft outcome document” still needs to prove its relevance in the formarch to RIO+20. (United Nations)

Sustainable Development: a Critique of the Standard Model (February 2, 2012)

According to Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian academic and writer, the prevalent concept of „sustainable development” is untenable because it combines two irreconcilable logics: narrow economic development and holistic ecological sustainability. The former is exploitative and based on individualist competition, while the latter derives from the life sciences and assumes cooperation and community. It is particularly crucial to be critical of this concept now, as it is central to the upcoming Rio +20 conference. If global actors are to agree on a plan to save the earth from ecological disaster, the concept that is supposed to focus intellectual and political efforts cannot itself be faulty. (Leonardo Boff)


The Green Economy: the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (December 2011)  

The latest report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) “Towards a green Economy” presents many possibilities for altering patterns of production, industry, agriculture and the organization of cities. It also highlights a wide range of initiatives in alternative technology and renewable energy. In this publication of the Transnational Institute, Professor Edgardo Lander from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas recognizes the report’s contribution to debates on feasible alternatives. At the same time, however, he denounces the reports failure to analyze the extraordinarily unequal power relations that exist in today’s world, and the interests at play in the operation of this global economic system. These interests will block change to implement green solutions. (Transnational Institute)

The Unsustainable Political Deficiencies of Environmentalism (December 27, 2011)

Environmentalists are no longer seen as granola-eating hippies. Yet, their scientific legitimacy does not translate into the necessary political influence to bring about indispensable actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nationally, the short-term political dynamic of democratic regimes are incapable of adequately addressing the issue of climate change. Globally, the requirement of a consensus among all the parties on international treaties at UN conferences and the lack of penalties for non-compliance question the process of adoption of international agreements. This Inter Press Service article discusses new mechanisms to enssure the adoption of policies with a long-term focus. (Inter Press Service)

The End Game in Durban? (November 30, 2011)

As world leaders gather this week in Durban for the 2011 UN climate talks (COP17), a report released by the World Development Movement reveals shocking tactics employed by developed countries to skew climate negotiations in their favor. Common practices include secret meetings, the sidelining of developing countries by presenting them with readymade agreements on a “take it or leave it basis,” bribery and bullying. One recurrent form of pressure on developing countries during the 2010 and 2011 Summits , for example, was to make foreign aid conditional on their agreement.  As long as climate change negotiations continue to be played by these rules, no compelling agreement to fight climate change will ever be found. (Share the Worlds Resources)

Floods in Central America: Yet Another Debt Owed by the Industrial North (October 28, 2011)

In the last few weeks, extreme floods have been leaving a path of destruction throughout Central America. The floods, and the torrential rains that precipitate them, are the result of manmade climate change. Several UN bodies have confirmed that Central America is one of the regions hit hardest by the effects of climate change and that its consequences will be felt for several generations.  At a summit held in San Salvador, the region’s political leaders have held industrialized countries responsible and demanded they “meet their moral obligation” to “pay [their] environmental debts” and radically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.  (Social Watch)

Economic Fixes Should Not Worsen Environmental Crisis (October 19, 2011)

In this YaleGlobal article, economist Dodo Thampapillai of the National University of Singapore argues that the financial and environmental crises are the related results of a culture of unbridled growth. In order to counter their effects, governments should restructure their economies and change their environmental policies so as to support equitable and sustainable lifestyles. Instead, however, most “developed” and “emerging” countries have focused on using financial rescue packages that exacerbate environmental risks. In fact, Tampapillai asserts, only a “revolutionary and abrupt change” in energy utilization can now counter the damage done. (YaleGlobal Online)

The Death of the Kyoto Process (October 18, 2011)

The Kyoto protocol will expire at the end of 2012 and, with it, the most important means to date of compelling industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions runs the risk of becoming a mere footnote in history. In times of financial crisis, both politicians and the general public appear to disregard long-term initiatives aimed at fighting global warming—a threat poised to unleash its full fury in a few years. Let us not forget, however, that while banks and governments can make compromises, the climate does not negotiate. (Spiegel Online)

Latin America: Sustainable Development, Not ‘Green Economy’ (July 15, 2011)

Civil society groups from Latin America and the Caribbean are worried that the upcoming Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development will concentrate on building a green economy at the expense of sustainable development.  Building a green economy entails improving the international economic system’s resilience to shocks and stresses, and debating equity in “a world of limits”. Civil society groups are concerned that this approach will unfairly benefit the business interests of corporations, and distort “the basic principles of sustainable development” by “putting a price on nature.” Instead, civil society organizations argue that it should be secondary to an approach called “greening the economy”. Greening the economy would take a more holistic approach, and address poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation.  At Rio+20, countries should address sustainable development from an economic and a social standpoint. (IPS)

China Plots Course for Green Growth amid a Boom Built on Dirty Industry (February 4, 2011)

China, the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases, is considering new strategies to halt environmental damage caused by industrial production. The government is backing the introduction of clean technology and weighing the possible benefits of imposing an environment tax that would arrest growth, but create revenue which could be used to transition the economy to a greener economy. Environmentalists are excited about China's progress in some areas, such as the development of renewable energy sources, but remain skeptical of other projects.


Maude Barlow: A Healthy Environment Should Be a Human Right (December 5, 2010)

Activist and former senior advisor on water to the UN, Maude Barlow, believes that the right to drink safe water and breathe clean air should be recognized as a human right. This interview outlines the importance of the Cochabamba People's Agreement on the rights of the Earth for social and climate justice. Barlow believes that the UN Climate Change Conference is the only legitimate international process not driven by international corporations, and is therefore the best hope we have for advocating environmental rights. (Alternet)

Child-labour risks rise across flood zone (October 8, 2010)

Pakistan's floods have affected 10 million children and problems of child protection are anticipated in the next phase of relief. Chief of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), Smaranda Popa, warns against exploitation of children, including a threat to education and child labour that were noted in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Media reports have indicated children from flood-hit regions are taken away from families, and used for sex work. UNICEF is currently engaged in an analysis to gauge needs and is devising a strategy with the government". (IRIN)

"Peak Oil" and the German Government: Military Study Warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis (September 1, 2010)

A German military think produced a secret study - recently leaked - that proposes dire scenarios for a world with shrinking oil resources. Most significant, the study acknowledges oil production is now at a peak and will soon begin to decline. It foresees a new landscape of international relations, a paradigm shift in economic power, market failures and maybe even a "relapse into planned economy". (Der Spiegel)

Efforts to Protect Ozone Layer From Depletion Have Been Successful, says UN (September 16, 2010)

A recent UN Report stated that international efforts to stop additional ozone losses have worked, potentially averting millions of cases of skin cancer and eye cataracts while also mitigating the global warming greenhouse effect. Without the Montreal Protocol, atmospheric levels of ozone-depleting substances could have increased tenfold by 2050.  The Montreal Protocol achieved universal ratification last year and is an excellent example of a successful international protocol. Huge holes in the ozone, such as the gap over the Antarctic, have yet to grow back but should over the next century. (MercoPress)

Sustaining Water For All in a Changing Climate (2010)

In a new report titled "Sustaining Water for All in a Changing Climate" the World Bank has "reviewed" its 2003 Water Resource Sector Strategy, and largely self-proclaimed it a success. In a blow to activists, the report reiterates the Bank's ideological, and intensely controversial, promotion of water system privatization. And while access to safe water and sanitation, as an indicator of success, is ignored, the report declares that reaching the MDG sanitation targets is an impossibility. The report offers very few lessons learned, instead reaffirming the bank's strategic direction while calling for "better information and a more integrated approach to water management." (World Bank)

[VIDEO] Jason Clay: How Big Brands Can Help Save Biodiversity (August 2010)

Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund argues that sustainability in consumer products should be a "precompetitive" issue, where sustainable products are no longer a consumer choice but rather an industry standard. Companies could move their supply chain towards sustainability says Clay, and he is lobbying the world's agribusiness giants to adopt green practices. Convince the largest 100 companies to go sustainable, he says, and the rest would have to follow. But whether companies will commit to significant and effectual change, that might negatively affect their profits, remains to be seen. Regulation, not corporate self-restraint would produce more reliable results. (TedTalks)

We've Gone into the Ecological Red (August 22, 2010)

This year, August 21st marked the day that humanity had reached and consumed its annual environmental resource budget. And from now until the end of the year we will be running in the ecological red, consuming more natural resources and producing more waste than the world can replace and absorb. We have been exceeding the planet's annual resource budget since the 1980s, but the date that we reach this point arrives earlier every year.  We currently consume in 12 months what takes 18 months for the planet to regenerate. (Guardian)

Corporate Greenwash at EU Environment Meeting? (June 3, 2010)

At the "Green Week" annual European Union conference, Coca-Cola was a sponsor, presented itself as a champion of environmental protection a. Coca-Cola, however, causes serious damage to water supplies and soil as a result of its bottling operations in India. This raises questions about the ability of polluting companies to influence the environmental debate in Europe. (IPS)

Oil Spill Gives Urgency to UN Oceans Meet (May 5, 2010)

The Fifth Global Ocean Conference took place as oil from the BP PLC debacle continues to surge into the Gulf of Mexico. The conference, administered by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), convened delegates from 80 countries to discuss ways to preserve marine biodiversity and improve "governance" of the oceans.  A Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund remarked that better regulations were blocked by assumptions that accidents like the one in the Gulf of Mexico could not have happened.  The crude reality of off-shore drilling confirms the importance of integrated governance initiatives of oceans and coastal regions. (IPS)

350 Movement Video from Bolivia's Climate Summit (April 22, 2010)

This video is from the ground in Cochabamba, Bolivia, at the "World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth." It depicts the energy and atmosphere of the event where over 15,000 people from around the world gathered, representing a wide range of civil society and a number of participating governments, to discuss alternative solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. (350 Movement)

From Copenhagen to Cochabamba (March 31, 2010)

In the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba, government representatives and thousands of activists will gather for the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. The April 19-22 conference was announced as an alternative platform to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that convened last in Copenhagen. Many in the global environmental movement urge alternative proposals and new models to mitigate climate change, and the conference in Cochabamba hopes to provide them. (Terraviva)

Tsunami of E-Waste Could Swamp Developing Countries (February 22, 2010)

In the world's emerging economies, hazardous electronic waste is expected to grow by as much as 500 percent in the next decade.  In countries like China, India, and South Africa, not only is domestic consumption of electronic goods skyrocketing, but these countries remain a major e-waste dumping ground for high-income countries. At the moment, most e-waste is left to the informal sector to recover valuable metals - this has drastic environmental and health effects. One UN report "Recycling - From E-Waste to Resources" encourages the financing of state-of-the-art waste recycling plants, but also outlines the barriers to their construction. (IPS)

Palm Oil Plantations are now "Forests" says EU (February 04, 2010)

A leaked EU Commission report on "sustainable biofuels" has revealed the Commissions' intention to classify palm oil plantations as forest.  The expansion of palm oil plantations is a major cause of deforestation and environmental destruction. By classifying the plantations as "forests" the  Commission falsely implies that tropical rainforests are not being destroyed by biofuel production. (EU Observer)

Northern "Biopirates" Gobbling Up Resources (February 01, 2010)

A UN - hosted Biodiversity Conference has revealed that a mere 17% of Europe's ecosystems are in decent shape. In contrast, the regions with the greatest amount of biodiversity are the less developed countries and areas where land is controlled by indigenous people. Speakers at this conference argued that since the North's current economic system does not value nature or biodiversity it is to blame for loss of biodiversity. Many fear that, since biodiversity is not a major priority for governments of rich countries, the North will now 'gobble up' the natural wealth of the South, without a second thought. (IPS)

Climate Change Policy Needs Indigenous Knowledge (January 26, 2010)

A report recently published by the United Nations University argues that indigenous groups have unique knowledge of how to cope with climate change at the local level. By compiling hundreds of case studies, the report highlights lessons to be learned from indigenous experiences. These adaptive responses draw on ecological knowledge that can be useful to strategies of the wider community. (

US Used One Quartet of Grain Crop to Make Biofuel, While Hunger is on the Rise (January 26, 2010)

This report by the Earth Policy Institute shows that in 2008 over one quarter of the US grain crop was turned into ethanol for use in cars. The report suggests the 100 million tons of grain (mostly maize) used to fuel cars would have been sufficient to feed 330 million people for one year. And so the world faces a new moral and political issue:  should grain be used to fuel cars or feed people?(EarthPolicyInstitute)

Can the Rainforests be saved without a Plan? (January 26, 2010)

Last year at Copenhagen, several major donor countries pledged to give billions to protect forest lands in less developed countries (to reduce carbon emissions). Some scientists fear this will encourage the governments of developing countries to relentlessly pursue money from investors and neglect the rights of local communities. In fact, research shows that when indigenous communities are themselves responsible for their environment, the levels of deforestation and CO2 emissions are lower. Thus the article argues that indigenous people should receive funding to protect the rainforests, not the governments. (Der Speigel)



How the Myth of Unlimited Growth is Destroying the Planet (December 15, 2009)

In this interview, Edgardo Lander, a Venezuelan leading thinker, analyzes the climate issue from another viewpoint. Lander argues that the climate problem cannot be solved with technical top-down solutions such as the carbon trading. "It is absurd to think a solution of growth can lead to something that is caused by growth itself" he says. The controversial professor believes that the South has equal share in tackling the problem. (Transnational Institute)

Oceans Fast Becoming a Garbage Dump (June 2009)

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the thinktank Ocean Conservancy have published an alarming report about marine litter. The paper looks at  all twelve major regional seas. It emphasizes that the oceans are essential to life on earth. The authors  criticize human disregard for this irreplaceable natural resource and they call for urgent action to preserve the earth as a habitable space. (IPS)



The Crisis and the Environment (October 17, 2008)

The financial crisis affects the environment in different ways. Global Co2 emissions might decrease because falling incomes force people to use less energy. But on the other hand, due to the crisis, investors will refrain from putting their money into energy projects, thus decreasing greenhouse gas reductions. (Foreign Policy In Focus)

World Faced With Growing Instability, Violence: Think Tank (August 7, 2008)

This Agence France Presse article discusses the 2008 State of the Future report published by the Millennium Project that identifies 15 global challenges ranging from water scarcity to global crime. The report warns that rising food prices, increasing energy demands and climate change could spur violence and instability across the globe over the next decade. The article says that although the Millennium Project report paints a grim future, developments in science and technology offers solutions to these problems. But, 700 million people face water scarcity and population growth could push that number to 3 billion by 2025.

Shipping Costs Start to Crimp Globalization (August 3, 2008)

Rising fuel prices are forcing companies to rethink their production. Instead of outsourcing manufacturing, companies like IKEA are opening factories closer to consumers. Many experts are also concerned about the environmental impact of the emissions-intensive model that involves far-reaching supply chains. Economists dispute whether rising oil prices will have any significant impact on global trade. Some say that globalization will reverse, while others argue that companies consider factors other than transport costs, including exchange rates and labor costs. (New York Times)

Fuel Subsidies Overseas Take a Toll on US (July 28, 2008)

Countries like China, India and Mexico are subsidizing fuel to offset high consumer prices. Data shows that fuel consumption has grown more in countries that subsidize fuel as opposed to taxing it. Indonesia spends $20 billion per year on subsidies. If the government would dismantle subsidies, demand would drop by a fifth. But, experts at the Asian Development Bank argue that if governments remove subsidies on fuels like kerosene that is used for cooking, people will turn to burning wood, which increases deforestation and in the end worsens climate change. (New York Times)

Riches in the Arctic: The New Oil Race (July 26, 2008)

US geologists, assessing the region north of the Arctic Circle, revealed that the region may contain as much as one fifth of the world's undiscovered, yet recoverable oil and natural gas reserves. Five countries – the US, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark – are already claiming stakes on the resources, boosting a competition that will surely lead to the environmental degradation of the region. (Independent)

The Current Oil Shock (July 15, 2008)

Unlike, the three previous oil shocks, the fourth oil shock is caused by demand surpassing supply. Leaders in the US blame China and India for the growing energy demand and urge these governments to reduce subsidies of oil products. But, half the households in India lack electricity and rely on subsidized kerosene for lanterns and cooking oil. This TomDispatch article points out that the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) consume three of every five barrels of oil and should focus on reducing their demand for energy.

UN Warming Program Draws Fire (July 11, 2008)

The UN created the Clean Development Mechanism to promote renewable energy initiatives and allow richer countries to earn carbon credits when they fund emission-reducing projects in poorer countries. But, the Wall Street Journal says the program is subsidizing new coal-burning plants in China and India. The UN defends its program arguing that poorer countries have to rely on fossil-fueled energy so, it is beneficial to fund plants that burn fossil fuel more efficiently. Critics say that the program is drifting away from its goals and the money given to these fossil-based plants should instead fund renewable energy initiatives.

The World's Water Future (July 1, 2008)

The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg called on governments to produce water management plans by 2005. In May 2008, a review committee found that more than half of the countries had no plans in place. But, knowledge about water resources is dwindling. For example, a German-based research center says that its records of African and Asian rivers have not been updated since the late 1980s. In order to respond to the challenges of food production and climate change, governments must spend more resources on monitoring water resources. (openDemocracy)


End of the Petroleum Age? (June 26, 2008)

New indicators suggest that global oil output will fall by 60-70 percent by 2030. The giant oil fields are experiencing reduced output. Production from smaller oil fields must compensate for this loss, but experts doubt that this is possible. Even though governments have increased spending on exploration, the rate of discovery of new reserves has fallen. At the June 2008 oil summit in Saudi Arabia, world leaders discussed policies to increase production and restrict speculation in the oil markets. The author calls on world leaders to develop renewable energy sources to solve the looming crisis. (Foreign Policy In Focus)

Genetically Engineered Trees Hotly Debated at the UN Biodiversity Convention in Bonn (May 27, 2008)

Acknowledging the negative environmental and social impact of Genetically Engineered (GE) trees, a UN convention banned their release in 2006. But countries such as the US, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa continue to ignore the decision. And, corporations favor deregulation to meet the growing demand for paper, biofuels and plastics. However, NGOs demand a global ban because the use of GE trees will shrink native rainforests, reduce insect life and speed up global warming. (eGov Monitor)

Faults in the Vault: Not Everyone is Celebrating Svalbard (February 2008)

According to GRAIN, the Global Seed Vault is not the "ultimate safety net" for biodiversity. Instead, it is part of a wider strategy making "off site storage" the single approach to preserving biodiversity. The Vault takes plant varieties away from their farmers and communities of origin and subsequently denies them access to the stored seeds. The Standard Depositor Agreement for the Vault gives right of use to a select few. GRAIN argues that farmers should control biodiversity – not the corporations that have destroyed it.

World Bank Pledges to Save Trees, Then Helps Cut Down Amazon (January 17, 2008)

This Independent article reports on yet another instance of World Bank hypocrisy. The Bank vowed to halt deforestation in Bali last month, but is simultaneously funding the cattle ranching industry in the Amazon. This industry propels forest destruction, by decimating vast pieces of forest to make way for cattle. Research shows that the strain placed on the Amazon could wipe out the forest - the world's most important eco-system - by 2030. It seems the World Bank wants to have its trees, and chop them too.

Europe Takes Africa's Fish and Boatloads of Migrants Follow (January 14, 2008)

This New York Times article discusses the issue of overfishing along northwest Africa's coast. Major fish populations are collapsing, though it is unclear who should take the blame; the heavily subsidized fishery fleets from the European Union or the region's own governments. This article points out that all too often the long-term benefits of protecting biodiversity take a backseat when governments stand to earn much-needed millions by allowing foreign exploitation of their natural resources.



Oil Decline "Brings Risk of War and Unrest" (October 22, 2007)

In a new report, Energy Watch Group (EWG) estimates that the world has already reached peak oil production and by 2030 oil supply will fall to half of its present levels. This estimate radically differs from the projections made by the International Energy Agency which claims there is no reason to worry about oil supplies. EWG and energy economists worry that a fall in oil supply will cause instability in a world with growing energy demands, possibly leading to "disturbing scenes of mass unrest." EWG considers this an important reason to speed up deployment of renewable energy. (Guardian)

Even as Economy Lags, Corporate 'Green' Push May Advance (October 15, 2007 )

Historically, when the economy slows down, companies shelve plans for environmentally friendly investments. In 2007 the situation is a little different. With oil costing more than US$80 per barrel, investing in sustainable energy could turn out to be profitable for many companies. Business and market analysts predict that while economic growth might slow down in the US, companies may implement as many as 80 percent of their "green" initiatives. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Government Sanctioned Bombing of Appalachia (October 9, 2007)

The US public still depends on coal for more than half of its electricity needs. However, US coal plants are responsible for more than forty percent of the country's CO2 emissions. In addition to contributing to climate change, coal mining is ruining local communities. Mining companies are tearing down forests and mountains to make room for the mines, and many areas are suffering from large scale pollution. This article from AlterNet looks at the effects of the government sanctioned and subsidized coal mining on villages in West Virginia.

Big Banks Are Selling Us Out on Climate Change (October 6, 2007)

Coal is the largest contributor to climate change. Still, the US is planning to build another 150 coal fired power plants. This AlterNet article argues that two banks, CitiBank and Bank of America, are the largest financers of companies involved in coal consumption and extraction. In 2006, they lent 200 times more money to non-renewable energy production than to companies producing clean energy while publicly trying to pass off their lending activities as environmentally friendly. The author argues that to reverse global warming, the government must regulate carbon emissions and banks must stop funding dirty energy.

Hydropower Doesn't Count as Clean Energy (October 5, 2007)

This article from Earth Island Journal questions hydropower's reputation as a "clean energy source". Data shows that hydroelectric dams are in fact responsible for large scale methane emissions, suggesting that they could be contributing as much as 4 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming . If methane emissions from dams were taken into consideration, India's greenhouse emissions would increase by 40 percent. The data on methane emissions is disputed by some scientists and more research is needed on the topic. Still, the findings have convinced other scientists to recommend investments in more efficient renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and geothermal options.

Crude Oil – The Supply Outlook (October 2007)

This Energy Watch Group report uses data from ten world regions to project the future of global oil supply. The study finds that oil production reached its peak in 2006 – earlier than most experts had predicted. After large oil fields pass their production peak, new smaller fields have to be developed. But smaller fields reach their peak quickly. The report predicts that the production rate of oil will decrease by 2030 and costs will increase. The supply gap will affect all aspects of daily life as consumers are forced to lower their energy usage.

Energy Poverty and Political Vision (September 4, 2007)

While the rich world debates how to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, more than a third of the world's population lack access to energy for basic household needs. Better access to fuels and energy will increase standards of living and contribute to economic growth. A range of countries in the developing world have proven that energy innovations such as wind, solar and biomass power can solve the problem of "energy poverty." This article discusses the need to bridge the energy gap between the rich and the poor countries of the world, and argues that poor countries include the private sector as partners in local energy initiatives. (openDemocracy)

How Much of the World's Resource Consumption Occurs in Rich Countries? (August, 31, 2007)

Earth Trends finds that richer countries accounted for 80 percent of global consumption in 2007. But consumption in countries like China and India is growing at a much faster rate than in Europe or the US. Many analysts argue that the growing demand for food by the expanding middle class in China and India is one of the causes of the global food crisis. But while meat consumption in India has increased rapidly since 1990, the average US citizen consumes twenty times more meat than the average Indian.

China's Eco-Entrepreneurs (August 15, 2007)

This Policy Innovations article describes how Chinese entrepreneurs are making progress towards protecting the environment. In 2007, China was the world's top producer of carbon dioxide emissions. But recently some entrepreneurs have devised new environmentally friendly projects, which include a village which can house up to 500,000 people with renewable energy and emission-free transportation. This could serve as a model for green development in other cities around the world. NGOs have also been very effective at "developing innovative methods to promote environmental awareness and participation" across various sectors of society.

Carbon Market Bad for Planet: Study (August 14, 2007)

According to a new study by Conservation International, the carbon emissions trading market under the Kyoto Protocol encourages deforestation, which releases carbon into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. The Protocol provides countries with carbon credits for countries that plant new trees but there are no gains for countries whose forests remain undamaged. This discrepancy creates an incentive for such countries to cut down trees so that eventually they can engage in trading carbon emissions. (Reuters)

Government Experts and Activists Express Strong Concerns About Biofuels (August 2, 2007)

At a meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), countries such as Norway, Sweden, Germany and Indonesia voiced their concerns about the threats that biofuels could pose to the environment, indigenous people and local communities. Brazil on the other hand, blocked an agreement on the negative impacts of biofuels. A 2007 UN report informed that biofuels have a negative impact on communities of indigenous people whose lands are appropriated for oil palm expansion. (Global Justice Ecology Project)

Environmentalism for Billionaires (July 17, 2007)

This article from the American Prospect discusses how big businesses are trying to make money with the sudden prominence of environmental issues such as global warming. Some of these endeavors, such as financing wind and solar power projects, are legitimate, but others do not seem as eco-friendly as they look. The American Forest and Paper Association is lobbying the US government to make all timber products count "as carbon storage, just like forests." Under a global carbon trading scheme, logging companies could then profit from trading carbon emission credits and at the same time avoid making any actual reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions.

China Closes Ozone Depleting Chemical Plants (July 1, 2007)

Since the Montreal Protocol was created in 1987, signatories to the international treaty have reduced their emissions of ozone depleting chemicals by almost 95%. Without this Protocol, scientists predict that the amounts of ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere would have increased tenfold by 2050, further weakening the ozone layer and causing health problems. This United Nations Environmental Program article reports on how China has closed down five of its six ozone depleting chemical plants, placing the country two and a half years ahead of the Montreal Protocol's 2010 deadline for the elimination of these chemicals.

Displaced Peasants, Higher Food Prices and a Crutch for the Petrol Economy (July 2007)

This Le Monde diplomatique article highlights the five most important myths surrounding the biofuels boom rejecting the statement that "because fuel crops are renewable, they are environment-friendly, can decrease global warming and promote rural development." Biofuel corporations have gained incredible market power in recent years and "governments lack the will to regulate their activities" thus raising concerns about just how green they are and their human cost.

The Great Biofuel Hoax (June 25, 2007)

This Indypendent article examines the myths surrounding today's biofuel boom. Biofuel supporters claim that because fuel crops are renewable, they are environmentally friendly and can reduce global warming, while promoting rural development. But biofuel corporations have tremendous market power and this, together with the political weakness of governments in regulating their activities, is a formula for environmental disaster and growing hunger in the global South.

Big is Beautiful (May 7, 2007)

This article in The Nation describes the history of US renewable energy sources as "an appalling tale of missed opportunities and willful negligence." The US government provides little support to renewable energy production, but gives billions of dollars in direct subsidies every year to producers of fossil fuels. The author is optimistic, though, about the prospects for renewable energy production and particularly wind power. Unfortunately the US government fails to provide any substantial investment to improve the state of the country's electricity grid. The current inadequate state of the grid limits the use of carbon-free electricity and the US' ability to rely on renewable energy sources.

Farming Will Make or Break Food Chain (May 2, 2007)

Global warming, food and timber exports, and the thirst for biofuels are among the biggest threats to biodiversity, reports this Inter Press Service article. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a UN-commissioned initiative to study ways to prevent environmental degradation, warns that the loss of just a few species may "result in a collapse" of the Earth's ecosystem, which could worsen the effects of climate change and diminish the global food supply.

How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor (April 24, 2007)

A surge in demand for alternative fuels such as ethanol has caused the price of corn to rise to its highest level in ten years. Because corn is a staple food for billions of impoverished people around the world, these price increases have "potentially devastating implications for both global poverty and food security," argues this Foreign Affairs article. The authors further point out that "political and corporate interests" dominate the ethanol industry, so that corn growers in rich countries receive substantial government subsidies which diminish the competitiveness of their developing country counterparts.

Brazil Rainforest Internet Plan (March 30, 2007)

In an effort to curb illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest, Brazil plans to offer free internet access to the indigenous communities which are "the true protectors of their areas." Although some members of the communities fear that the introduction of computers and the internet may "erode indigenous culture," others argue it will encourage the rainforest's estimated 20 million inhabitants "to join the authorities in the environmental management" of the Amazon and open communication between the native tribes and the Brazilian government. (BBC)



Business Must Adapt to Realities of Earth's Ecosystems, Warns New Publication (November 22, 2006)

This piece summarizes main conclusions of 'Ecosystem Challenges and Business Implications,' a November 2006 publication by Earthwatch Institute and World Conservation Union among others. Looking at six environmental topics, including water scarcity, climate change and biodiversity, the report details how corporate business not only affects ecosystems, but also crucial ly relies upon them, a link all too often overlooked by the corporations themselves. The report urges businesses to acknowledge this inextricable link and sets out recommendations for companies to reduce their adverse environmental impacts as well as pursue new sustainable business opportunities.

The Freshwater Boom Is Over. Our Rivers Are Starting to Run Dry (October 10, 2006)

With water tables falling, rivers drying out and salt pollution of groundwater rising across the world, global fresh water resources become increasingly scarce. In this Guardian article, George Monbiot cites results from a British Met Office study showing that climate change will significantly increase the severity and duration of droughts by 2100. He warns that the ensuing exacerbation of water scarcity will cause a global food deficit entailing "almost unimaginable future misery." With no viable adaptation alternatives, "averting this catastrophe" of global drying, requires a 60 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030, Monbiot argues.

US Swaps Guatemalan Debt for Forest Conservation (October 3, 2006)

The US government has announced a "major debt-for-nature swap" with Guatemala, reports this Environment News Service article. The US will forgive debt worth US $24 million that Guatemala will instead invest over the next 15 years in conserving its tropical forests in the Cuchumatanes region. The money will help protect an area, home to many rare and endangered species, which has been under threat from illegal logging, drug trafficking and unsustainable agriculture. The US "Tropical Forest Conservation Act" from 1998 will allocate US $125 million to protect tropical forests over the next 10-25 years.

Toxic Shock: How Western Rubbish Is Destroying Africa (September 21, 2006)

As Dutch trading company Trafigura Beheer offloaded 400 tons of toxic waste at a landfill near the Ivorian capital of Abidjan in August 2006, the generated fumes killed six people and forced 15,000 to seek treatment for nausea, vomiting and headaches. The incident illustrates that the practice of Western companies dumping toxic waste in poor countries continues. As rich countries' consumption of electronic equipment keeps increasing, so does the amount of electronic waste shipped to poor countries for "recycling," but ending up in landfills posing significant health risks to local residents. (Independent)

Your Guide to Green Electronics (August 25, 2006)

Aiming to prompt a "race to the top" in environmental standards applied by electronics companies, Greenpeace has developed a scorecard assigning points to 14 leading mobile phone and computer manufacturers. Using nine separate criteria, the scorecard evaluates both how much companies do to remove toxic chemicals from their products and whether they have good recycling programs. Nokia and Dell came out "greenest," but with companies scoring an average of only 4 out of 10, the electronics industry still "has a long way to go before it can make any claims to being a green industry."

Need for Water Could Double in 50 Years, UN Study Finds (August 22, 2006)

This New York Times piece reports on a UN study warning that water scarcity may lead to violent conflict, drying rivers, groundwater pollution and the clearing of grassland and forests. Since irrigation and dam-building prove difficult and time-consuming, some experts suggest that governments and donors should give farmers small scale methods such as tanks and pumps, alongside much needed credit, crops, and roads. With growing population and increasing consumption, the already damaging effects of water shortages could further limit poor countries' ability to feed themselves.

A Third of the World Population Faces Water Scarcity Today (August 21, 2006)

At the August 2006 World Water Week in Stockholm, researchers presented initial findings from the "Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture" carried out by 700 experts over five years. In 2000, researchers had predicted that water scarcity would affect one third of the world's population by 2025. The study finds that this occurred already in 2005. Furthermore, the study argues that the extensive use of water in agriculture bears much of the responsibility for the world's water crisis, and that the key to resolving it lies in increasing agricultural "water productivity," especially in poor countries (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and World Water Week)

Rich Countries, Poor Water (August 16, 2006)

While the world's looming water crisis mostly affects people living in poor countries, this World Wildlife Fund report highlights the rapidly deteriorating state of water resources in many wealthy nations. In addition, as consumers of goods produced in poor countries, wealthy nations bear responsibility for contaminating and using up poor country water resources. The report identifies key issues of bad water resource management and stresses the importance of wealthy nations taking action.

World Bank Revamp Needs Close Scrutiny, Groups Say (August 14, 2006)

The World Bank announced that it will merge its social and environment departments with its infrastructure department. The World Wildlife Fund applauds the plan, expecting large development projects to apply "world-class environmental standards." NGOs such as the Bretton Woods Project and the Bank Information Centre, on the other hand, warn that this move may relegate social and environmental concerns to the backseat in project planning. Environmentalists and independent analysts say they will closely follow the details of the reorganization. (Inter Press Service)

A Sustainable Energy Future Is Possible Now (May 2006)

This report from Abolition 2000 presents renewable energy and energy efficiency as the only way to reach full energy security. It shows how all of the world's energy demand can be met through clean and inexhaustible sustainable energy and that the technology to do this is available and ready to be put into use. In response to claims from skeptics, the report argues that sustainable energy need not be more expensive than non-renewable energy sources as long as governments stop providing producers of non-renewable energy with direct and indirect subsidies. The report argues that bio-fuels and nuclear energy have no part to play in the sustainable energy and energy security solution. The people of the world should rely on solar, wind and hydropower for their energy needs.

UNCTAD Highlights Increasing Impact of Environmental Requirements on Exports of Developing Countries (March 31, 2006)

To protect the environment, ensure health and safety, governments introduce product standards, requiring producers to keep content levels of particular substances below specific thresholds, respect certain occupational safety standards or ensure animal welfare. But by adopting stringent product standards, rich countries also make it more difficult for poor countries' exports to enter their markets. This UNCTAD 2006 Trade and Environment Review (TER) argues that poor countries can turn Western product standards into rewarding exporting opportunities. But, while the report emphasizes rich and poor countries' "shared responsibility" for environmental protection, it seems to say little about rich countries' responsibility in helping poor countries to adapt to the standards. (Inter Press Service)

UN Warns of Worst Mass Extinctions for 65m Years (March 21, 2006)

The Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 released by the secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity states that 844 animals and plants are known to have disappeared in the last 500 years. With a population of 6.5 billion and ever increasing economic activities, humanity causes irreparable damages to nature, wrecking the environment for thousands of other species. International trade, travel and tourism also introduce many harmful alien species to fragile ecosystems. (Guardian)

Death of the World's Rivers (March 12, 2006)

The Independent warns that half of the world's 500 mightiest rivers have been seriously depleted or polluted. According to the triennial World Water Development Report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), "we have hugely changed the natural order of rivers worldwide." With 45,000 big dams blocking the free flow of rivers and global warming causing extensive droughts, the access to water increasingly becomes a privilege of the rich.

Planet Earth, Year 2050 (January 25, 2006)

This article focuses on the links between the world's ecosystem and human well-being. Based on the UN-backed Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report published in early 2005, AlterNet ponders what the world might look like in 2050. Governments have to promote stricter regulations on the use of natural resources to guarantee nature's and humans' survival.

Environment in Crisis: "We Are Past the Point of No Return" (January 15, 2006)

According to environmental scientist James Lovelock the human race faces unsolvable climatic problems that will cause billions of deaths within the next 100 years. Lovelock who gained international reputation with his theory about a self-regulating earth system, called Gaia, recommends governments to prepare for the worst. But the depressing picture drawn by Lovelock should not discourage governments to take real action to stop global climate change. (Independent)

Integrating Environment and Development by 2015 (2006)

As a "significant cause of poverty and an obstacle to development," environmental damage has a worldwide impact. This discussion paper on UN reform describes sustainable environmental action as a "make or break opportunity for the UN." According to the paper, member states should modify the UN's institutional structure to influence environment-related decisions by international financial institutions, the World Trade Organization and UN groups. (Northern Alliance for Sustainability, Greenpeace, WWF)



Below a Mountain of Wealth, a River of Waste (December 27, 2005)

This New York Times report reveals the unjustifiable practices of the New Orleans based mining company Freeport-McMoRan in the world biggest goldmine in Indonesia. Once a region of untouched nature and indigenous cultures the company now abuses the area as a waste bin for the by-products of this modern gold-rush. Besides producing an unrecoverable environmental disaster, this transnational corporation has a long history of suppressing neighboring communities with the help of local military forces.

Behind Gold's Glitter: Torn Lands and Pointed Questions (October 24, 2005)

In past centuries, gold represented a valuable natural resource that strengthened empires, economies and currencies. Nowadays, more than 80% of gold mining activity serves rich countries' jewelry demand and it takes place mostly in poor countries. Toxic wastes from mining pollute oceans, rivers and soil, and gold mining companies are exposing workers to indecent and dangerous conditions. As this article points out, this should be too high a price for rings and necklaces. (New York Times)

The price of Cheap Beef: Disease, Deforestation, Slavery and Murder (October 18, 2005)

The EU and the US spend billions to subsidize their beef farmers, but these subsidies represent only a part of the problem of global beef trade. In 2004, the environmental impact of beef production reached intolerable levels and the expansion of cattle ranching destroyed 26000 sq km of the Amazon rain forest. The social impact is even worse: in Brazil, beef producers hire people to work in slave conditions and have been known to murder those who try to stop this destruction. Maybe, as the author suggests, "we shouldn't be eating beef at all." (Guardian)

SEEN Reviews the 2005 World Bank Annual Meeting (September 28, 2005)

At the 2005 annual meeting, the World Bank attempted to stake a claim of leadership in the global climate debate. According to the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, while the Bank talks a lot about climate-friendly formulas, in practice, it supports export-oriented oil extraction. In doing so, it even ignores the recommendations of its own commissions. A multilateral framework of the UN should deal with climate problems, rather than the World Bank, which is "an unrepresentative institution that profits from fossil fuels and carbon trading."

It Would Seem That I Was Wrong About Big Business (September 20, 2005)

Not all companies oppose government environmental regulation of their activities. During a conference on climate change and the role of corporations, several companies lobbied for new industry-wide rules and policies, reasoning that "it is regulation that creates the market." This article argues that governments do not act because they are siding "with the dirty companies against the clean ones." (Guardian)

Connecting Nature, Power and Poverty (August 31, 2005)

A World Resources Institute report argues that poverty elimination and the preservation of natural resources are closely interlinked. This article argues that public control of environmental resources should replace former policies of privatization. (Inter Press Service)

Pollution Poisons China's Progress (July 4, 2005)

No country has lifted more people out of poverty faster than modern China, but the environment seems to be bearing the brunt of the burden of growth. With lax environmental protection and officials more concerned with economic growth than clean water, it doesn't look like things are going to change. Some areas have such high levels of toxins in the air and the groundwater that cancer levels are 15 to 30 times higher than the national figure - ”drinking water is like "liquid poison." (USA Today)

Broken Promises: How World Bank Group Policies Fail to Protect Forest and Forest People's Rights (April 2005)

In 2002, the World Bank revised its policy on forests, allowing Bank projects to include logging and plantations. While the new policy purports to require consultation with forest communities, the Bank routinely ignores recommendations from local groups. This compilation of 12 articles details the struggle of thousands of forest dwellers around the world to preserve the world's forests. (World Rainforest Movement)

Study Highlights Global Decline (March 30, 2005)

The UN-sponsored Millennium Ecosystem Assessment says the way humankind has sourced its food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel over the past decades has seriously damaged ecosystems around the globe. According to the report, this overexploitation of natural resources will likely hinder the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals of poverty and hunger eradication, improved health and environmental protection. Only radical measures can stop the environmental degradation and bring the planet back on a more sustainable track. (BBC)

Sustainability - A New Bottom Line (January 5, 2005)

This Op-Ed piece condemns the standard use of Gross Domestic Product for measuring economic growth and calls for an alternative measurement of development. The current economic system operates under the false premise that the world has no limits, and no constraints on growth, pollution or exploitation. The author argues in favor of a reevaluation of development based on environmental sustainability. (Environmental News Network)

Environment and Trade - A Handbook (2005)

While most governments see trade as a central ingredient to development, they pay little attention to how trade interacts with the environment. This UN Environmental Programme report looks at national and international environmental agreements and how trade agreements affect the environment. To promote sustainable development, governments have to take a close look at how their trade policies influence the environment.



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