ECO GENEVA (INC) #7 June 26, 1991 ( 
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 ECO GENEVA (INC) #7 June 26, 1991 (

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Subject: ECO GENEVA (INC) #7 June 26, 1991 (63K)

                          ECO NEWSLETTER


                          June 26, 1991
                             Issue #7

                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

1)  G77 Climate Statement
2)  UK Minister Attacked for Sell-out Policy
3)  Conference Moves to Funding
4)  Climate Negotiations Could Spell Trouble
5)  Offsets Issues
6)  US Blocks Antarctic Treaty
7)  ECO Editorial - G7 Economic Summit
8)  Mexico's 'Development' Agony
9)  Towards A More Holistic Approach
10) How the Global Warming Issue can Distort Priorities
11) The Case for Local Technology Development
12) Leman
13) Notice - Who's Afraid of Pledge and Review?
14) Letter to the Editor
15) Climate Action Network - Contacts
       (additions to list in issue #5)

1) G77 Climate Statement

`The developed countries must lead by example, not by
counter-productive and self-righteous impositions. '

Below is the full text of the Statement on Climate by the `Groups
of 77' (and 127 developing countries) that was released yesterday.

Statement by the Group of 77 on Financial Resources and Transfer
of Technology in Working Group 1 of Intergovernmental Negotiating
Committee for Framework Convention on Climate Change - Wednesday
26 June 1991

We all know the major cause of the continuing deterioration of
the global environment, particularly global warming, is the
unsustainable patterns of production and consumption of the
industrialized countries Developed countries must, therefore,
bear the main responsibility in the effort to combat
environmental degradation at the national and international
levels . Moreover, they have the resources and the technical
know-how to promote environmental protection and enhancement

Developing countries, on the other hand, are still grappling with
difficult development problems, in an unfavourable international
economic environment characterized by mounting external
indebtedness, adverse terms of trade, including low commodity
prices, protectionism and reverse transfer of huge resources from
the developing to the developed countries. Consequently,
environmental concerns must not be made a new layer of
conditionality which will only distort the development priorities
of the developing countries

The framework convention and its protocols when negotiated may
require developing countries to cooperate by adopting measures to
combat climate change. If developing countries are to be
encouraged to accept these responsibilities, which may entail
additional burdens on the use and management of their natural
resources, then they must receive financial transfers in
compensation for the incremental cost This is reasonable and fair
because they bear little or no responsibility for global climate

In recognition of these realities, the General Assembly in
resolution 44/228 and the INC in its decision 1/1 made specific
recommendations relating to the provision of financial resources
to enable developing countries adopt appropriate measures for
environmental protection and enhancement. The key words in these
resolutions are "new, additional and adequate". Additionality
must mean in addition to, or over and above the target set by the
United Nations for ODA flows. But as we are all aware, the flow
of ODA has stagnated over the years at 0.33 per cent of GNP. This
is less than one half of the target of 0.7 per cent of GNP in ODA
flows established by the United Nations two decades ago. It
cannot be that this inadequate level of assistance will be merely
redeployed or reprogrammed for environmental protection and
enhancement programmes. Were this to be the case, it would
undoubtedly undercut the development efforts of developing
countries, lead to a deepening of the poverty condition of these
countries, and accelerate environmental degradation. Renewed
efforts should, therefore, be made by all developed countries to
attain the target for ODA flows established by the United Nations
in addition to the "new" resources that must be made available to
meet the incremental cost to developing countries of
environmental protection measures. In the context of the
framework convention, "new" means flows of a qualitatively
different sort. It is not assistance or aid, but transfers to
compensate developing countries for adopting and pursuing costly
measures to combat climate change, a state of affairs brought
into being by the pattern of production and consumption of the
developed countries Such transfer of resources, if it is to be
"adequate", must meet the full incremental cost of the measures
that developing countries would adopt to meet global climate

The obligation to provide financial resources must be made an
integral part of the commitments for developed countries.

The question of the mandatory or voluntary character of funding
requires careful attention, because when funding is essentially
voluntary the funds become starved of resources. Mandatory
schemes for funding environmental programmes must, therefore,
form an important element of any financial arrangements.

Now to turn to the issue of transfer of technology; the relevant
provisions of resolution 44/228 require us to examine effective
modalities for favourable access to, and transfer of,
environmentally sound technologies on concessional and
preferential terms. The cost of technology transfer can be very
expensive. If developing countries are to integrate environmental
concerns into their development objectives and promote global
environmental protection and enhancement measures, it is
imperative that they have access to environmentally sound
technologies at costs that they can afford. Hence the call by the
General Assembly for technology transfer on concessional and
preferential terms. This presupposes that a purely
market-oriented approach will not help us achieve our common
objectives. Developed countries must create the necessary policy
framework, supported by appropriate incentives, to encourage
technology transfer.

Quite apart from the transfer of hardware, it is important that
capacity building programmes such as the training of personnel to
acquire the necessary skills and understanding of technological
processes should form an integral part of the "transfer". The
overall objective of technology transfer is to enable developing
countries fully to internalize the technical know-how and to be
able to adapt and develop the technology to suit peculiar local

The availability of information, on technological developments
and processes, for developing countries will enable them to make
decisions on the choice of particular technologies. Ways would
have to be found as to how to make this information easily
accessible, not only in terms of availability, but in a language
that is easily comprehensible.

Developing countries have reaffirmed on several occasions, their
commitment to the strengthening of international cooperation for
the protection and enhancement of the environment. But the extent
to which they can do this will depend on the understanding and
cooperation of the developed countries and their willingness to
sacrifice some of the affluence, attained at the cost of global
environmental degradation. Sustainable development cannot mean
the imposition of limitations on the use of the resources of
developing countries, in order to support unsustainable
production and consumption patterns elsewhere. Environmental
restraints and controls, like charity, must begin from the places
where the major responsibility for environmental degradation
began, i.e. in the industrialised countries where the need arises
to curb profligate consumption patterns. It must also mean that
the developing countries will be provided with the necessary
means, both financial and technological, to enable them pursue
their development objectives to the fullest extent possible,
while still paying attention to environmental concerns. Above
all, it must mean that a more equitable economic climate is
guaranteed for developing countries to eradicate poverty and give
living conditions that are decent. The developed countries must
lead by example, not by counter-productive and self-righteous
impositions. '

2) UK Minister Attacked for Sell-out Policy

By Eco Reporter

Britain's climate talks `Pledge and Review' policy came under
attack from an Opposition Environment Spokesman in London
yesterday, for contradicting previous commitments by Michael
Heseltine, now UK Environment Minister. Simon Hughes, an MP with
the Liberal Democrat Party, said that current British policy was
`diametrically opposed' to two of Heseltine's previous speeches
in which he had called for the British to set specific targets
for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases 10-20% by the year

Referring to the `Pledge and Review' policy launched by Britain
at the Geneva talks, Hughes said: "The UK has submitted a
proposal that developed nations should only set voluntary, not
mandatory targets for limiting greenhouse gases. This is a sell
out of the UK government's already weak position". Hughes points
out that Heseltine was himself a critic of the UK official line
on CO2 before he became Environment Minister not long ago.

Hughes, whose Party is attempting to make the environment an
issue at the forthcoming British General Election, claims
"Michael Heseltine has proved that his green words from the
backbenches meant nothing. His environmentalism has been proved
to be of the `here yesterday - gone today' variety".

* Hughes cites speeches by Heseltine made on 19 June 1990 and 17
September 1990. See also Financial Times report page 5.

3) Conference Moves To Funding

Questions of finance for reducing greenhouse gases dominated
discussions at the negotiations on a Climate Convention in Geneva
yesterday. (Working Group 2 discusses legal and institutional
elements of a Framework Convention while Group 1 covers

Working Group 1

Technology `transfer'/`cooperation' and Funding

Key Points


Developed countries must bear the main responsibility in the
effort to combat environmental destruction. The major cause of...
global warming is the unsustainable patterns of production and
consumption of the industrialised countries... they have the
resources... to promote environmental protection. (G 77)

Developed countries must lead by example. (G77)

Sustainable development cannot mean the imposition of limitations
on the use of the resources of developing countries in order to
support unsustainable production and consumption patterns
elsewhere. (G77)

No conditionality

Environmental concerns must not be made a new layer of
conditionality which will only distort the development priorities
of developing countries (G77)


If developing countries are to be encouraged to accept these
responsibilities.. . they must receive financial transfers in
compensation for the incremental cost. (G77)

It is to remedy the damage done since the Industrial revolution
and is therefore new, not part of the concept of assistance.

`New', `additional', and `adequate' - these are the key words


In the General Assembly resolution 44/228 and INC decision 1/1.
Specifically, additionality must mean in addition to or over and
above the target set by the UN for ODA flows... the flow of ODA
has stagnated over the years at 0.33% of GN P, less than one half
of the target of 0.7% established by the UN two decades ago. ..
It cannot be that this inadequate level of assistance will be
merely redeployed or reprogrammed for environmental protection...
were this to be the case, it would undoubtedly undercut the
development efforts of the developing countries, lead to a
deepening of the poverty condition of these countries and
accelerate environmental degradation. (G77)

There is a strong case for funds to be separate from the aid
budget. (UK)


In the context of the framework convention, `new' means flows of
a qualitatively different sort. It is not assistance or aid, but
transfers to compensate... [for] a state of affairs brought into
being by... the developed countries. (G77)


Such a transfer of resources, if it is to be adequate, must meet
the full `incremental costs of the measures that developing
countries would adopt to meet global climate concerns.

We need a debate on what the incremental costs are. (India)

Little work has been done on identifying and agreeing what
incremental costs are. Agree with India that we need more work on
this issue. (UK)

Linking commitments and provision of resources

The obligation to provide financial resources must be made an
integral part of the commitments that developed countries must
make under the Convention. (G77)

The scale of resources and the details of the mechanisms can only
be established when we know more of the specific commitments that
developing countries are taking under the convention. (UK)

International Fund

We must be imaginative in devising innovative mechanisms for
mobilizing resources in support of global environment programmes.
The resources should be channeled to an international fund
controlled by states parties to the Convention. (G77)

GEF should become the funding mechanism under the Convention. It
is a pilot programme so further refining will be needed including
arrangements to link GWF to parties of the Convention.

Mandatory contributions

The question of the mandatory or voluntary character of funding
requires careful attention, because when funding is essentially
voluntary the funds become starved of resources. Mandatory
schemes for funding environmental programmes must, therefore,
form an important element of any financial arrangements. (G77)

Technology `Transfer'/`cooperation'

It is imperative that they have access to environmentally sound
technologies at costs that they can afford. Hence the call by the
UN GA for technology transfer on concessional and preferential
terms. This presupposes that a purely market-oriented approach
will not help us achieve our common objectives. (G77)

Non commercial does not mean free. (China)

Reductions of CO2 as high as 60% may be required [to stabilise
concentrations according to IPCC report]. There is no possibility
that any existing technology today will help us achieve those
kind of targets if the science confirms it is needed.

Multilateral arrangements to underwrite costs (Mauritius)

UNDP can hopefully get more resources and take on technology
cooperation. (Sweden)

This should all take place within the broader context of
technical cooperation as a partnership of equals. (US)

Soft Technology

It is important that capacity building programmes such as the
training of personnel to acquire the necessary skills and
understanding of technological processes should form an integral
part of the `transfer'. The overall objective of technology
transfer is to enable developing countries fully to internalise
the technical know-how and be able to adapt and develop the
technology to suit peculiar local conditions. (G77)

Technology transfer will be useless without training and
institution building that goes with it. (US)


Ways have to be found on how to make information on technological
developments and processes easily accessible and comprehensible.

Country studies

Country studies add to current understanding on emissions levels.
Mexico has noted that all countries should draw up an inventory
and make public the patterns of their emissions. (US)

Agree with Mexico that country studies play an important role. It
is essential that such studies are led by the developing country,
but the UK is willing to provide assistance. (UK)

Funding for research, science, monitoring, development of
national policies, identification of adaptation strategies...

R&D programmes for impact assessments, promotion of sustainable
agricultural and forestry practices, an enhanced climate
observation network etc. needed (Mauritius)

Support for developing a Global Ocean network, disseminating data
and information on sea level change and adaptation options,
limits on population growth in coastal areas... needed. (Kenya)


"Saudi Arabia is a developing country" (Saudi Arabia)

"I've heard all this before! Where is this debate going?", cried

"Profit seeking is not the supreme aim of humankind. Profit
making is legal", observed China.

Working Group 2

The group met to discuss: `legal and institutional mechanisms
related to adequate and additional financial resources and
technological needs and cooperation, and technology transfer to
developing countries corresponding to the commitments agreed to
in Working Group 1.'

General points raised by all delegations:

* governance of any funding mechanism must be done democratically
and reside with the conference of the parties

* funding should meet the incremental costs of complying with the
commitments of a convention

* technology transfer must be country specific

Developing Countries:

* all funding transfers to developing countries to fight climate
change must b new, additional and adequate - funding transfers do
not represent charity, they are in pursuit of equity

Industrialized Countries:

* all funding transfers to developing countries must be
additional and adequate

* don't want the unnecessary creation of new institutions

Country by Country


the funding mechanism must be completely new and independent of
existing institutions like the World Bank

technology transfer on fair and most favorable terms

financial mechanism must strengthen indigenous technologies and
support cooperative projects between North and South

St. Lucia

need an International Climate Fund

must also respond to the fact that climate change is discouraging
investment in some countries because private insurance companies
will not insure against the possible impacts of global warming

therefore, need an international insurance pool of funds to
provide insurance for investments that cannot obtain any other
coverage (legal precedents exist in the area of oil spills and
nuclear power)


need an International Climate Fund independent of the Global
Environment Facility

assessment of compliance with a convention must not only concern
emission reductions but also funding and technology transfers


build on the Montreal Protocol experience

developing countries, Eastern and Central Europe, and countries
with abnormal burdens (low-lying states) should be eligible for
financial assistance

need an information clearing-house

financial mechanism should be administered by WB, UNEP, UNDP and
these organizations can even control it if decision-making
procedures are changed


may need to set up an international coordinating mechanism to
deal with proprietary rights to technologies


technological cooperation must be consistent with national laws,
regulations and practices

want international partnership based on equality of sovereign

technological cooperation must respect the market and
intellectual property rights

must begin now through country studies to determine what scale of
technological cooperation is needed in terms of cost and

must examine how existing mechanisms can be best utilized

a single multilateral fund may not be a good idea, rather, a
variety of mechanisms (bilateral, regional etc.) might make more

Global Environment Facility must be fully utilized before further
funding ca be considered


can use existing institutions for financial and technology
transfer, but new institutions will be needed

these issues must be included in the convention, not subsequent

nations with large debt loads should also be eligible for


financial and technology transfers must be a commitment of the
industrial countries

intellectual property rights should not be regarded as an
obstacle to the transfer of technology

an independent Climate Fund should be established

state Parties should ensure that technologies are transferred

technology transfer should be on non-commercial, preferential and
most favorable terms

industrial countries must use incentives and disincentives to get
private interests to transfer technology

Saudi Arabia

technology transfer should not impose technologies, the economic
and social context and impacts must be taken into account


financial transfers must be focused only on measures to fight
climate change resource transfers must be tied to commitments

financial mechanism must be cost effective

must make use of existing institutions like the GEF

must learn from the mistakes of the past in technology transfer

World Bank

both developing and developed countries interested in

financial resources must be additional

governance and implementation of a financial mechanism can be

GEF administered by UNEP, UNDP and WB - governed by a committee
of 24 participating countries (some of them developing)

science panel advises the GEF

transfers must be tied to convention commitments


avoid creating any new unnecessary institutions

would like the financial mechanism to be implemented by UNEP,
UNDP, WB -can be the GEF if decision making procedures are


must transfer technology on a basis other than that which now


need an independent climate fund that will not reflect the
personality of existing financial mechanisms

technology must be transferred non-commercially and funds must be
provided t develop indigenous technological development


must use existing institutions as much as possible

must begin to study exactly what form and how much technology
transfer must take place


new and independent Climate fund

funding must support development of indigenous technology


an International Climate fund totally independent of existing

Federated States of Micronesia

existing mechanism can be used for part of the job if they are
provided with new, additional and adequate resources

developing countries may be better off with no convention than
one that is only a skeleton

4) Climate Negotiations Could Spell Trouble

by Ken Snyder

During the climate negotiations there has been a lot of talk
about the role of forests as carbon sinks. During Tuesday's
afternoon session of Working Group II, Malaysia, in particular
put forth strong `principles' on forest and sinks. Their premises
began with the argument that deforestation and environmental
degradation caused by the North should be seen as a debt owed to
the biosphere, and if the South is expected to protect more than
its fair share in forest land and curb its emissions for the
benefit of the world community, the North must pay. Temperate
forests, the delegate emphasized, are also carbon sinks and the
North must be equally responsible for protecting forests.
Malaysia called for "the need for an agreed minimum level of
forest cover for each country of the world as part of their
global obligation to protect and conserve forest resources."


Malaysia's statement rightly emphasizes that forest strategies
should include all forests, not just tropical, and that financial
assistance and technology cooperation will be necessary to help
developing countries protect their forests for the world's
benefit. However, the emphasis solely on forest cover and not on
natural forests for their ecological and social importance,
spells trouble. One of environment groups' greatest concerns in
linking forests with climate is that this will basically
translate into a massive eucalyptus planting initiative. This
could simply exacerbate other global environmental problems.
Ill-planned afforestation and reforestation efforts could
encourage the conversion of natural forests, important for
biodiversity and local and indigenous peoples who depend on them,
to carbon-sucking plantations, and the plantations themselves
could be environmentally and socially damaging.

It is crucial that carbon sink strategies place priority on the
conservation of primary forests, including native or mature
natural forests, and provide safeguards for the protection of
biodiversity, ecosystem services and cultural diversity.

Keep it in Perspective

In establishing a CO2 strategy for alleviating global warming, it
is also crucial that the role of forests in the carbon cycle be
kept in perspective. Of global anthropogenic emissions of CO2,
deforestation represents a small, albeit significant,
contribution to greenhouse gas concentrations compared to
emissions from fossil fuels. In addition, there is an important
distinction between fossil fuel emissions, (a large portion of
which could be labeled as `luxury' emissions of the
industrialized world) and emissions from deforestation which are
pre{*filter*}ly `non-luxury' and are connected to much more complex
social, political and economic issues.

Under no circumstances should the inclusion of carbon sink
components into a climate agreement distract from the pre-eminent
need for industrialized countries to reduce their emission of
greenhouse gases.

Integrated and Innovative Solutions

Other international forums will most likely be necessary to
address the more complex social and political components of
forest protection. UNCED, and particularly Working Group I, will
be the setting for discussions of a forest agreement, but it does
not have the authority to actually launch negotiations of a
forest treaty. Early concern that a freestanding forest agreement
will be narrowly focussed on forestry and timber issues has been
reinforced with the US' recently released proposal on forest
principles for a global forest agreement .

For this reason, the incorporation of forest issues into climate
and other initiatives on biodiversity, sustainable agriculture
and indigenous peoples may be the best path to choose in
addressing the multiple and interconnected issues around forests.
A comprehensive CO2 strategy that looks and sources, sinks and
reservoirs of carbon adds greater value to the protection of
standing forests, and thus can serve as a conduit to reaching
complimentary objectives surrounding forests. In particular,
placing greater value on standing forests will help in conserving
valuable forest resources and ecosystem services, beyond timber,
for indigenous and local people dependent on forests and provide
additional incentives for protecting primary habitat for
biodiversity. Linking forests to climate provides a balance
between North-South interests and has the potential to make
available substantial funding for conservation. Addressing
interconnected issues together, opens up new opportunities for
innovative strategies such as trading and offset schemes. (see

Recognizing forests as a `bargaining chip', the South should
persist in seeking strong commitments from industrialized
countries to curb their fossil fuel emissions, and to provide
financial assistance and participate in technology cooperation in
exchange for protecting forest resources for the benefit of the
world community.

Ken Snyder is with the Audubon Society.

5) Offsets Issues

By Ken Snyder

A golden principle of free-market ingenuity is flexibility.
Setting up appropriate market incentives while minimizing
option-limiting regulations, provides industry and governments
with the flexibility to chose those methods which are the most
appropriate and cost-effective to individual circumstances.
Emission trading and offset programs work from these premise.
Issues to consider:

o There needs to be a careful analysis of how funds are
distributed when one country invests in offsets in another
country. Should the money go to the governments on unconditional
terms, giving them the freedom to invest as they chose, or should
acquired funds be restricted to future emission reduction efforts?

o Any offset program will require adequate baseline information,
which when considering offsets involving different gases or
biotic resources (i.e. forests), will require additional data and
indexing. Particularly in the area of forests, much of this
information is not yet available.

o Careful analysis and creative thinking is needed to find ways
to apply the differential principle to trading and offset
transactions between developing and developed countries and
countries in transition.

o Safeguards are needed to ensure that local and indigenous
people are incorporated in programs in a democratic and
participatory manner and not exploited. In particular,
afforestation efforts risk harming the poor and landless.

o Finally safeguards must be established to ensure that natural
forests will not lose out to massive reforestation and plantation
efforts spurred by incentives to earn carbon sink credit.

The potential benefits of trading and offset schemes exist, but
issues such as these still need further consideration. Finally,
lack of answers for such schemes should not be an excuse for
slowing down negotiations and getting binding commitments.
Obligations should first deal with those gases and sinks where
science is clear and additional gases and innovative schemes
should be introduced into the equation as reliability of data and
information increases.

6) US Blocks Antarctic Treaty

By Eco Reporter

The White `House has refused to approve a tentative agreement
barring oil and mineral exploitation in Antarctica for at least
50 years. The ban, drafted by delegates of Antarctic Treaty
nations meeting in Madrid in April, was supported by the 38 other
treaty members and the US Congress.

The US objected to a provision in the draft agreement saying that
the ban could not be overturned without the consent of all 26
treaty nations currently with consultative status. At the 11th
hour, the US proposed an amendment that would allow any country
to withdraw from the mining agreement after 55 years. Other
treaty members criticized this "walkout" clause, but for the sake
of consensus agreed to accept it with only slight changes.
Nevertheless, the US refused to accept any changes.

The US action blocks the scheduled signing of the agreement and
jeopardizes not only the mining ban but other measures involving
waste disposal, environmental impact assessment, marine
pollution, and protection of Antarctic plants and animals.

7) ECO Editorial - G7 Economic Summit

In July leaders of the wealthiest industrialized countries will
gather in London for their annual Group of 7 (G-7) Economic
Summit. While environmental issues featured prominently at the
previous two G-7 Summits in Houston and Paris, it appears that
the London Summit will be consumed by deliberations on the
aftermath of the Gulf War and aid to the Soviet Union. Although
both subjects have significant environmental ramifications, there
will be little time for the environment as such. This is
particularly troubling as it will be the last G-7 Summit prior to
the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, and the
scheduled completion of the climate change convention

Despite solemn pronouncements in Paris and Houston on the need to
limit CO2 emissions, the US in particular has still to deliver
even a target, let alone any clear CO2 reduction program.

In addition, although in Houston the G-7 committed to working on
climate change and implementing protocols as expeditiously as
possible, the US has refused to even contemplate negotiation of
protocols along with the convention. Despite recognition at the
Paris Summit of the linkage between deforestation and atmospheric
protection, from Houston onwards the US has tried to separate
forest issues from climate, lest the negotiation of a forest
protocol should make it impossible to avoid an energy protocol.
Instead, the US has pushed for a free standing forest convention.
Indeed, the US `Sherpa' recently prepared some forest proposals
to other G-7 `Sherpas'. These proposals relegate climate issues
to potential impacts and downplay protection of primary forests.
Maybe this is because the US is cutting down its own primary
forests ?

The London Summit provides a critical opportunity for the world's
richest countries to give momentum to UNCED and to the climate
negotiations. After all, a `meaningful' convention is meant to be
the crown jewel of UNCED. Now is the time for the UK and the rest
of the G-7 to press the US to join them and other major
industrialized states in using the convention to make good their
previous pledges to limit CO2 emissions.

Previous G7 Pledges:

`We strongly advocate common efforts to limit emissions of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases which threaten to induce
climate change, endangering the environment and ultimately the
economy.' (para 40) - July 1989 Paris Summit Declaration

"Climate change is of key importance. We are committed to
undertake common efforts to limit emissions of greenhouse gases,
such as carbon dioxide.' (para 63) - July 1990 Houston G7 Summit

Note the lessening level of commitment. The next meeting is in

8) Mexico's `Development' Agony

by Julio Cesar Centeno

Mexico has been struggling for development for several decades,
with little success. In 1982 Mexico shocked the world when it
announced that it would not be able to meet the payments on its
gigantic foreign debt. Its economy was in shambles, and emergency
actions were urgently needed to prevent a total collapse.

But not only the economy was a mess. A very large proportion of
its population lived in dire poverty, without access to its basic
needs for food, jobs, housing, health and education services.
Around 40% of Mexicans were considered `marginal', or
`miserable', mainly those living in the country and in the many
shanty towns and `barrios' surrounding the cities. Another 40%
barely made it, on a minimum salary of $US800 dollars a year;
those were the official poor.

Environmental Degradation

The environment had also taken its share of `development'. Large
scale degradation was evident across the country. Air was badly
polluted in the capital and other major cities. In Ciudad de
Mexico air was so {*filter*} that just living there made it
equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Soils were
eroded in large sectors of the country. Water was contaminated
with uncontrolled industrial and urban waste. Deforestation was
one of the highest in Latin America. And the exploitation of oil
was done in such a desperate rush and with such irresponsibility
that large spills damaged huge land and sea areas with impunity,
without anyone to blame but the faceless and untouchable PEMEX:
Petroleos Mexicanos.

Pollution Transfer

A team of technocrats was hurried to lead the country out of the
crisis onto a less explosive state of affairs. With the support
of the US and other industrialized nations with high stakes on
it, an economic survival package was hastily designed. It was of
the highest priority to prove that classical economic theory
could actually work in countries at the verge of collapse, such
as Mexico, and that they could even pay their debt to the
international financial system. A structural adjustment program
was designed and implemented, with the major proportion of the
burden placed on the already dispossessed majority, as it had
always been. The exploitation of oil and other natural resources
was accelerated. Many polluting industries were transferred
there, mainly from the US, since not only were the environmental
laws much more relaxed, but they could also be easily ignored.
There was additionally plenty of cheap labour, desperate to work
under any conditions that would simply allow them to eat. Mexico
was so again placed on the path to `development'.


But what was not considered in the new development scheme was
that the bitter medicine applied to its sick economy was only an
adjustment of the same development strategy that had caused the
illness in the first place. The main culprit, the unsustainable
development model, was untouched. A model that takes into account
neither the depletion of the natural resource base on which it
depends, nor the degradation of the human condition on which it
preys. Neither of these figure in the national accounting, which
supposedly measures the nation's progress. So the country has
been launched onto a path to development where the poor majority
becomes poorer, and the environment is more intensely depleted,
without any accounting for such degradation of the natural
resource base or of the human condition in the structural
adjustment scheme.

Mexico's economy is highly dependent on its oil exports, and on
an industry based on the unlimited and subsidized supply of
fossil fuels, mainly oil and gas. It is therefore highly
susceptible to any measures that may limit its oil exports (such
as participation in OPEC) or that would introduce turbulence in
the rest of the base of its new economic strategy: the operation
of industries dependent on plenty, cheap and subsidized fossil
fuels; the impunity with which its already weak environmental
regulations can be broken; and the massive poverty that supplies
cheap and unconditional work force.

Mexico should thus not be expected to undertake commitments
related to reductions of its greenhouse gas emissions, nor to
accept monitoring schemes to that purpose. Neither should it be
expected to easily accept the obvious connection between climate
change and its economic strategy. Any such positions will be seen
as introducing undesirable turbulence into its recently
established development strategy, forcing it to find new
mechanisms for development, again. They will hold on to their
classical scheme, even though such a position will eventually run
against their own long term interest, while missing the
opportunity to unite forces with other developing countries to
reach a more equitable balance in the development process.

Dr Julio Cesar Centeno is a Professor at the University of the
Andes, Venezuela, and an international consultant on tropical
forestry and environment issues.

9) Towards A More Holistic Approach

by Magda Lombardo

There is a need for new indicators to define "development" and
"pollution" if we are to achieve real and equitable agreements:
countries and regions need to enter into new relationships, in
which there is respect for each region's people and ecosystems.

Each region's anthropogenic contribution to global warming need
to be assessed. on its own merits. Human activities in different
ecosystems have the potential both to improve and to destroy. The
extent to which this takes place is different for each region and
needs to be properly studied. We need strategies for action that
are not only global, but also regional, national and local.
Focusing on geopolitical considerations while ignoring regional
considerations is therefore inadequate to address all the factors
contributing to global warming.

If we try to solve the problems using the traditional sect{*filter*}
approach, our solutions will end up perpetuating the root causes
of many environmental problems. We need to examine the
interaction between nature and human beings, as well as the
relationships between human beings of different countries and
regions. Scientists have looked at the problem of climate change
as a problem of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. On
the other hand, governments are debating the issue on a level
that is pre{*filter*}ly geo-political.

It is therefore the role of the NGOs to be alert to the necessity
of broadening this framework, advocating a more holistic,
multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to global
warming, one that considers the socio-economic and ecological
circumstances the various nations and regions.

10) How the Global Warming Issue can Distort Priorities

by Grace Matiru - Kengo

Climate change and global warming are now, more ever before, of
great concern to the world community. It seems that the majority
of environment conferences, workshops and seminars being held
each year are on this issue.


Undeniably, these discussions and their ultimate results are very
important and will affect the actions of governments for a long
time to come. However, developing countries are in a dilemma in
many respects. KENGO staff think that there are certain issues
that are of specific concern to developing countries. These
issues are outlined below

1. How Global Warming Distorts Priorities

o Global warming and climate change are being given priority over
all other development concerns of the south.

o Crucial human and material resources are being diverted from
pertinent environmental issues in the South to emerging and
glamorous issues such as global warming and climate change.

o Development agencies in the North are prioritizing these issues
in their 10 year plans, at a time when Southern nations are
fighting to survive the storm of a spectrum of social, economic,
political and environmental issue

o How can war-ravaged, starving communities be reasonably
expected to respond to climate issues unless their more immediate
problems are addressed first?

2. Taking Scarce Human Resources

o A large percentage of the few scientists and experts from the
south are now spending a lot of their time attending local and
international meetings on climate change instead of performing
more mundane tasks at home. Little time is being spent on
reading, digesting and consolidating information, hence
discussions are becoming watered-down and to a large extent

3. Research Lack

o Southern governments, NGOs, and Research organisations do not
have the capability or capacity to effectively participate in
programmes on climate change and global warming on an equal
footing with their Northern counterparts.

o Data, even on the Southern hemisphere, is being generated by
Northern agencies. Are Northern agencies willing to commit the
level of resources needed to enable Southern agencies to conduct
these studies for themselves in their own countries? Can Southern
nations completely trust Northern generated data when they have
not participated in the research?

4. Technology Problem

o Emphasis is being placed on North-South transfer of
energy-efficient technology. There is great fear that the South
will become a ready market for these technologies, which will
most likely be expensive, hence plunging them into deeper
economic problems.

5. Forest conservation and land-use management

o Pressure on tropical forests is currently on the increase, due
to the low productivity of surrounding lands. In Kenya
approximately 70% of the land is semi-arid or arid. Only a small
percentage is under forestation. If the potential of the 70% was
enhanced, then, in effect, the forests would be conserved. The
survival of the forests very much depends on the ability of the
rest of the land to support the nation's population. A holistic
approach is therefore going to be more effective than a sect{*filter*}
one and should produce more positive results.

Grace Matiru is with Kengo - Kenya Energy Environment

11) The Case for Local Technology Development

Kenyans are implementing their own solar systems

by Ann Heidenreich

An estimated 10,000 small photovoltaic (PV) systems - 10 peak
watts (Wp) or even 5 Wp - have been installed in Kenyan rural
homes and schools. The spread of these systems, which address the
needs of rural Kenyans for lighting one or two light bulbs and
operation of a radios or other small appliance, is supported by a
growing cottage industry of local technicians.

Too Large

This potential mass market is virtually ignored by the aid
agencies and the foreign subsidiaries of oversees solar companies
who promote larger (40 Wp or more) PV systems that are assembled
abroad and are too large and too expensive for most rural
households. Their efforts have done little to establish a market
or infrastructure for a sustainable solar industry in Kenya.

Any discussions on technology transfer - or "cooperation" in the
latest American rhetoric - must have as priority the introduction
of measures to support the development of cottage industries that
can handle the design, construction, and maintenance of systems
and the consumer education that is needed to ensure

A Technology Designed for Local Needs

An initial impetus for the development of small-scale PV systems
came in 1984 when a rural Kenyan school decided to improve
lighting for evening classroom studies. Before 1984, the school
relied on kerosene-fuelled pressure lamps, rudimentary Chinese
devices prone to maintenance problems, parts shortages, magnesium
glare, and noisy, noxious emissions. The school's options
included extension of the grid, installation of a diesel
generator and photovoltaics.

Solar Cheaper

A comparative analysis showed that solar was the cheaper option.
A five-mile extension of the power grid would take more time and
cost much more than the school could afford. In fact, a study has
shown that extension of the grid to supply the very small-scale
needs of rural households is completely uneconomical from the
point of view of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company. Diesel
generators have also been found to be more expensive that PV
systems for small-scale rural needs.

To reduce costs and ensure sustainability, a system was designed
specifically to meet the needs of the school, using as many
locally available parts as necessary. A member of the school
staff assisted in the installation and was trained so that he
gained complete knowledge of the system. The success of this
system resulted in high interest in solar electricity in the
immediate area of the school. Convinced that solar was indeed
viable, the school's headmaster and several teachers purchased
solar electric systems for their own homes, and others in the
region also acquired this technology. In response to high local
interest, USAID agreed to support a two-week programme in which a
number of local electricians were trained to install, repair and
maintain solar lighting systems.

Since then, the solar market in Kenya has grown rapidly, and
several local companies are designing, installing and maintaining
small PV systems for rural households. As a result of these
efforts, the companies addressing the aid market also saw the
opportunity for exploiting the rural household and schools
market. However, rather than following the lead set by the
smaller, indigenous companies, they chose to sell larger lighting
systems (40 Wp plus) to a relatively small high income group.
They have also been successful in getting aid agencies to pay for
the purchase and installation of these systems in schools and
health centres. Most of these are imported complete (apart from
the batteries) from the UK and other manufacturing countries.
Little support is available for local cottage industries that
will provide the basis for sustainable PV development to meet the
needs of most rural users in Kenya.

A major constraint to the spread of indigenous PV technologies is
the performance of components, especially the batteries that
require certain levels of maintenance to ensure long lifetimes.
There are, however, a number of steps that could be taken to
overcome these constraints, the most important being training and
consumer education. It is proposed, e.g. that development and
research organizations must provide unbiased information about
these technologies and support research into inexpensive local
design solutions, development of training materials and support
for training programmes, workshops and local information networks.


Banks and credit institutions should provide credit packages that
meet the need of consumers and support small solar businesses.
And governments should remove duty on photovoltaic devices and
other system components, provide subsidies or tax breaks to PV
system buyers, establish and enforce quality control standards,
include public awareness of PV in education programmes and
allocate foreign exchange to purchase of PV equipment.

None of these require large sums of money or huge technology
transfer programmes. In fact a similar, locally-based solar
industry to serve commercial lands in Zimbabwe was started due to
the lack of foreign currency to import finished products. All are
determined by the need to develop local skills and resources in
response to local needs. This, we believe, is the kind of
technology "development" that a climate convention should support.

This article is based on material by Mark Hankins, c/o Motif
Creative Arts, P.O. Box 22415, Nairobi,Kenya. Ann Heidenreich
works with The Kenya Consumer Organization/Climate Network Africa

12) Leman

Leman has learned that, in view of the popularity and success of
the United States climate policy, the Bush Administration intends
to extend the same principles to other areas, the first of which
is car transport. Plans are to include the abolition of road
markings and traffic signals, and the easing of laws which
dictate which side of the road should be driven on.

Leman's White House mole, `Shallow Tongue' filled in the

"These regulations interfere with drivers' basic freedoms to go
where they choose. They were brought in supposedly for safety
reasons, but there is considerable uncertainty as to what are the
actual causes of motor accidents: there are far too many factors
involved. We believe that responsible drivers, left to
themselves, will make safety a prime consideration."

He went on to deny that the new situation would favour drivers of
armoured stretch limos, tanks and humvees.


Who's Afraid Of Pledge And Review ?

It is increasingly difficult to discern who is in favour of
pledge and review and who is against it. India is definitely
against it, and we understand that China is too. Britain and
Japan are definitely for it, though their papers differ in
various respects. Earlier this week Eco reported that Australia
and Norway were for it but this is apparently wrong. Norway is
interested in the review idea but doesn't like pledges much.
Yesterday Eco reported that France was for pledge and review. We
are now told that this is wrong.

Where did Eco get these `wrong' ideas from? Well, mainly from
other delegations and from reading the non-papers. And there are
a large number of developed country delegations who are keeping
quiet (on the record) about pledge and review but which are
saying that there are, or there might be, or there could be,
something in it. Of course `pledge and review' could mean all
sorts of things, and some, such as the UK, are now saying that it
could include targets in the pledges, or the guidelines around
the pledges (which do not yet exist). Which means that it may not
be pledge and review but obligatory targets, pledge and review?
We understand that Japan too feels it may also be for commitments.

All the world can go on, is what goes on the record. Our
apologies to anyone who has been misrepresented (although we
await definitive statements from those who say we are wrong). So
who's for the UK or Japanese pledge and review system, or for the
idea in principle, and who's against it, and who doesn't know
what they're for or against, and who knows what they actually
mean by it? Eco would be happy to publish a table of such
positions in tomorrow's issue. Our fax is 734 8425 - or give the
information in writing to NGOs that have been listed in Eco.

14) Letter to the Editor

Dear Eco,

Given that the current US position seems to hinge on taking
credit for a supposed reduction in global warming due to
reductions in CFC emissions, it is most appropriate to draw the
attention of your readership to the research paper and results of
A.A. Lacis, D.J. Wuebbles, and J.A. Logon: Radiative Forcing of
climate by changes in the vertical distribution of ozone (Journal
of Geophysical Research 95, 9971-9981, June 1990).

Results in this paper indicate that the net effect of CFCs could
be cooling of climate, not heating, because although CFCs are
strong greenhouse gases, the ozone they destroy is also a
greenhouse gas. Ozone depletion has a cooling effect, masking the
greenhouse warming by CFCs and other greenhouse gases. According
to the paper, the observed ozone trend during the 1970s in
northern hemisphere mid-latitudes was a cooling equal to 50% of
the extra CO2 heating during the same period. The heating effect
of the CFC increase during this period was also about half the
extra heating due to the CO2 buildup. Thus, the two effects are
comparable. There is a large uncertainty in the cooling due to
ozone heating; hence, the net effect of CFCs could range from
modest heating to modest cooling. One is thus on very slippery
grounds trying to base a global warming policy based on assumed
credits for CFC emission reductions.

The US position is also scientifically unsupportable because it
assumes that we can reduce CFCs, or reduce CO2, or reduce some
other greenhouse gas, when what we need to do is reduce CFCs and
CO2 and other greenhouse gases as much, and as quickly, as

Danny Harvey, Dept. of Geography, University of Toronto, 100 St.
George Street, Toronto, Canada M5S 1A1.



(additions to list in issue 5A)


FOE - Ghana, P.O. Box 3794 Accra GHANA

Kenya Energy and Environment Organizations, Mwanzi Road,
Westlands P.O. Box 48197 Nairobi KENYA

Kenya Consumer Organization (Climate Network Africa), PO Box
21136 (Kenya Cultural Center First Floor, Room 9 Harry Thuku
Road) Nairobi KENYA

ENDA - Senegal, B.P. 3370 Dakar SENEGAL

ZERO (Rindayi Chimonyo), Dept. of Geography University of
Zimbabwe PO Box MP 167 Mt. Pleasant Harare ZIMBABWE


Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, 626 Road 10A (new)
Dhanmondi GPO Box 3971 Dhaka 1205 BANGLADESH

Center for Science and Environment, F-6 Kailash Colony New Delhi
110-048 INDIA

Deccan Development Society, A-6 Meera Apartments Basheerbagh
Hyderabad 500 029 Andhra Pradesh INDIA

Indonesian Environmental Forum (WALHI), JL Penjernihan I/15
Kompleks Keuangan Pejompongan Jakarta 10210 INDONESIA

Greenpeace - Japan, 5-37-1 Koishikawa 703 Bunkyo-ku Tokyo 112

Chikyu no Tomo (FoE-Japan), 801 Shibuya Mansions 7-1
Uguisudani-cho Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150 JAPAN

Center for Saving the Atmosphere and the Earth (CASA), 1-3-17-813
Tanimachi, Chou-ku Osaka 540 JAPAN

Green Forum - Philippines, 3/F Liberty Building Pasay Road,
Makati Metro Manila PHILIPPINES

Sahabat Alam Malaysia, 43 Salween Road Penang 10050 MALAYSIA

Environmental Protection Society - Malaysia, P.O. Box 382 46740
Petaling Jaya Selangor MALAYSIA


Ecological Society, Farni 13 16200 Prague 6 CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Slovak Union of Nature and Landscape Protectors (SZOPK), 1H, MV
SZOPK Markusova 2 8M08 Bratislava CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Independent Ecological Center and AIR, 1082 Baross U. 83 Budapest

Independent Ecological Center, 1035 Miklos ter 1
+Selyemgombolyito+ Budapest HUNGARY

Panos-Hungary, Frankel Leo U. 102-104 IV-40 1024 Budapest HUNGARY

Polish Foundation for Energy Efficiency, Ul. Gorskiego 7, 00 0330
Warsaw, POLAND

Social Ecological Institute, ul Szczytna 5 43-360 Bystra POLAND

Socio-Ecological Union, 25 Krasnoarmeyskaya Street Apartment 85
125319 Moscow USSR

Zelena Aczija Zagreb - Green Action Zagreb, Radnicka c. 22 PO Box
876 41000 Zagreb YUGOSLAVIA


CAN-UK, c/o Media Natura, 21 Tower St. London WC2H 9NS UNITED


Preparatory Forum of Brazilian NGOs for UNCED, c/o CEDI Av.
Higienopolis 983 01238

Sio Paulo - SP BRAZIL, Rubens Born c/o Fundaiio S.O.S. Mata

Rue Manoel da Norbrega, 456 - CEP 04001 - Sio Paulo SP BRAZIL

Instituto Autonomo de Investigaciones Ecologicas, A.C,
Castellanos Quintos 87 Col. Centinela C.P. 04450 Mexico, D.F.,

Dr. Julio Cesar Centeno, 750 P.O. Box Merida VENEZUELA


ECO is edited by Chris Rose; production editors Malcolm
Sutherland and Alister Sieghart

ECO wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the following:
Apple Computer - Industrade AG, Wallisellen
AVEC INFORMATIQUE SA, Route des Acacias, 47 Geneva
Intercontinental Hotel, Wagons Lits

ECO (name as in 'SWCC') has been produced for EDF and others as a
Media Natura project with the generous support of the Apple
Computer Division, Industrade AG, Wallisellen and Avec
Informatique SA, Geneva.

Software support has been donated by Aldus, Applelink, Computers
Unlimited, Microsoft, Sitka. (any others).

Design by Akel Minott, London; Production Editors Alister
Sieghart, Shades & Characters and Malcolm Sutherland, Recruit

Electronic mail distribution coordinator Lelani Arris, EcoNet
Energy and Climate Information Exchange (US), supported by a
grant from the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation.

Project Management Chris Bligh , Media Natura, 21 Tower Street,
London WC2H 9NS Tel (+44) 71 240 2936 Fax (+44) 71 240 2291.


For enquiries and response to ECO:
ECO Editorial Staff
Tivoli Room, Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva
Telephone: (+41) 22 740 0541 / 734 6574
FAX:       (+41) 22 734 8425
E-mail:    APC Networks - gn:wwfgland, gn:swcc
           Applelink - uk.region1

For Press enquiries to particular NGO spokespersons:
The Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Room
Persan Room, Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva
Telephone: (+41) 22 740 0536 / 734 5243
FAX:       (+41) 22 734 6442

For information about fax distribution of ECO (FAX numbers):
Australian Cons. Foundation:     Bill Hare         61-3-416-241
Belgium: CAN - Europe            Tasmin Rose      32-2-512-6673
S. America : SOS Mata Atlantica                  55-11-885-1680
USA: Center for Global Change    Pam Wexler      1-301-403-4292
UK: Media Natura                 Sally Cavanagh  44-71-240-2291

Every issue of ECO will be posted in full to the en.climate and conferences on EcoNet (APC) and the sci.environment
conference on Usenet.

For information about electronic mail and conference distribution
of ECO, contact:
E-mail coordinator: Lelani Arris
APC Networks - igc:larris

Telephone -    1-403-852-4057 (Canada)

Or contact support staff at one of the following APC Networks:

Network                Telephone                    E-mail
GreenNet (Europe)      (44) 71 923 2624             gn:support
EcoNet (US)            (1) 415 442 0220             igc:support
Pegasus (Australia)    (61) 66 856 789              peg:support
Alternex (Brazil)      (55) 21 286 0348             ax:support
Nicarao (Nicaragua)    (505) 2 26  228              ni:ayuda
WEB (Canada)           (1) 416 596 0212             web:spider
Peacenet (Scandinavia) (46)  8 72 00001             pns:support

For information about Media Natura:
Media Natura Project Manager : Chris Bligh
Telephone (+44) 71 240 2936/ 71 497 2673/ 71 497 2712
FAX: (+44) 71 240 2291
E-mail : gn:medianatura

To find out more about Media Natura please write to Media
Natura, 21 Tower Street, London WC2H 9NS, United Kingdom


We are interested in tracking ECO electronic distribution.  We
hope to keep improving our service as we approach UNCED 1992.  If
you find this newsletter of value, please return the following
report.  Thank you for your help!!


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Return to:

Lelani Arris                           * Project Director
EcoNet:    larris                      * EcoNet Energy & Climate

Telephone: 403-852-4057                * Jasper, Alberta T0E 1E0
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Mon, 13 Dec 1993 11:57:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. ECO GENEVA (INC) #6 June 25, 1991 (

2. ECO GENEVA (INC) #5 June 24, 1991 (

3. ECO GENEVA (INC) #3 June 20, 1991 (

4. ECO GENEVA (INC) #4 June 23, 1991 (

5. ECO GENEVA (INC) #4A June 23, 1991

6. ECO GENEVA (INC) #2A June 19, 1991

7. ECO GENEVA (INC) #1 June 18, 1991

8. ECO GENEVA (INC) #8 June 27, 1991 (

9. ECO GENEVA (INC) #2 June 19, 1991

10. ECO GENEVA #10 - Dec 20, 1991 (55K)

11. ECO GENEVA #8 - Dec 18, 1991 (29K)

12. ECO GENEVA (INC10) #3 Aug 26 94 (28

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