US Department of State Dispatch Supplement VOL. 3, NO 4


US Environment Initiatives and the UN Conference on Environment and Development

Bush Reilly Bohlen Source: Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs Date: Jun, 12 19926/12/92 Description: Collection Category: Speeches, Testimony, Statements Category: Fact sheets Category: Reports Region: Whole World Country: United States, Brazil Subject: United Nations, Environment, Resource Management [Text]

President Bush: International Cooperation on Environment and Development

[Address to the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 12, 1992] President Collor, Mr. Secretary General, Heads of Delegation. May I first express my admiration to Secretary General Boutros-Ghali and my gratitude to Secretary General Maurice Strong for his tireless work in bringing this "Earth Summit" together. This is truly a historic gathering. The Chinese have a proverb: If a man cheats the earth, the earth will cheat man. The idea of sustaining the planet so that it may sustain us is as old as life itself. We must leave this earth in better condition than we found it. Today, this old truth must be applied to new threats facing the resources which sustain us all--the atmosphere and the ocean; the stratosphere and the biosphere. Our village is truly global. Some find the challenges ahead overwhelming. I believe that their pessimism is unfounded. Twenty years ago, at the Stockholm conference, a chief concern of our predecessors was the horrible threat of nuclear war--the ultimate pollutant. No more; upon my return from Rio, I will meet with Russian President Yeltsin in Washington, and the subject we will discuss is cooperation--not confrontation. Twenty years ago, some spoke of the limits to growth. Today, we realize that growth is the engine of change and the friend of the environment. Today, an unprecedented era of peace, freedom, and stability makes concerted action on the environment possible as never before. This summit is but one key step in the process of international cooperation on environment and development. The United States will work to carry forward the promise of Rio. Because as important as the road to Rio has been, what matters more is the road from Rio. There are those who say that cooperation between developed and developing countries is impossible. Let them come to Latin America, where debt-for-nature swaps are protecting forests in Costa Rica and funding pollution control in Chile. There are those who say that it takes state control to protect the environment. Let them go to Eastern Europe, where the poisoned bodies of children now pay for the sins of fallen dictators, and only the new breeze of freedom is allowing for cleanup. There are those who say that change can never come because the interests of the status quo are too powerful. Let them come right here to Brazil, where President Collor is forging a new approach that recognizes the economic value of sustaining the rainforest. There are those who say that economic growth and environmental protection cannot be compatible. Let them come to the United States--where, in the 20 years since Stockholm, our economy has grown by 57%, yet, we have cut the lead going into the air by 97%, the carbon monoxide by 41%, the particulates by 59%. We've cleaned up our water and preserved our parks, wilderness, and wildlife. There are those who say that the leaders of the world do not care about the earth and the environment. Let them all come to Rio. We have come to Rio. We've not only seen the concern; we share it. We not only care; we're taking action. We come to Rio with an action plan on climate change. It stresses energy efficiency, cleaner air, reforestation, [and] new technology. And I am happy to report that I have just signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Today, I invite my colleagues from the industrialized world to join in a prompt start on the convention's implementation. I propose that our countries meet by January 1 [1993] to lay out our national plans for meeting the specific commitments in the framework convention. Let us join in translating the words spoken here into concrete action to protect the planet. We come to Rio with a proposal to double global forest assistance. We stand ready to work together, respecting national sovereignty on new strategies for forests for the future. As a down payment, we will double US forest bilateral assistance next year. We will reform at home, phasing out clear-cutting as a standard practice on US national forests and working to plant 1 billion trees a year. We come to Rio with an extensive program of technology cooperation. We stand ready, government and private sector, to help spread green technology and launch a new generation of clean growth. We come to Rio recognizing that the developing countries must play a role in protecting the global environment but will need assistance in pursuing these cleaner growths. So, we stand ready to increase US international environmental aid by 66% above the 1990 levels, on top of the more than $2.5 billion that we provide through the world's development banks for Agenda 21 projects. We come to Rio with more scientific knowledge about the environment than ever before and with the wisdom that there is much we do that's not yet known. We stand ready to share our science and to lead the world in a program of continued research. We come to Rio prepared to continue America's unparalleled efforts to preserve species and habitat. Let me be clear. Our efforts to protect biodiversity itself will exceed the requirements of the treaty. But that proposed agreement threatens to retard biotechnology and undermine the protection of ideas. Unlike the climate agreement, its financing scheme will not work. It is never easy to stand alone on principle, but sometimes leadership requires that you do. Now is such a time. Let's face it, there has been some criticism of the United States. But I must tell you, we come to Rio proud of what we have accomplished and committed to extending the record on American leadership on the environment. In the United States, we have the world's tightest air-quality standards on cars and factories, the most advanced laws for protecting lands and waters, and the most open processes for public participation. And now for a simple truth. America's record on environmental protection is second to none. So, I did not come here to apologize; we come to press on with deliberate purpose and forceful action. Such action will demonstrate our continuing commitment to leadership and to international cooperation on the environment. We believe that the road to Rio must point toward both environmental protection and economic growth--environment and development. By now, it's clear, to sustain development we must protect the environment, and to protect the environment, we must sustain development. It's been said that we don't inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. When our children look back on this time and this place, they will be grateful that we met at Rio. They will certainly be pleased with the intentions stated and the commitments made. But they will judge us by the actions we take from this day forward. Let us not disappoint them.

President Bush: US Signs Climate Convention

[Excerpts from remarks at a news conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 13, 1992] Well, let me first express my thanks and congratulations to President Collor and the Brazilian people and to all responsible for this conference for their hospitality, for their tremendous success in hosting the earth summit. It's obvious to all who came to Rio that the Brazilians made a special effort to accommodate so many heads of states and delegates and journalists and visitors. And they managed it flawlessly, and they managed it with grace and good humor. We've had a very successful visit. We've signed a climate convention. We've asked others to join us in presenting action plans for the implementation of the climate convention. We've won agreement on forest principles. We found a warm reception among the G-7 and many developing countries to our Forests for the Future Initiative, and many US proposals on oceans and public participation on the importance of economic instruments and free markets were included in this mammoth Agenda 21 document and the Rio Declaration. Let me be clear on one fundamental point. The United States intends to be the world's pre-eminent leader in protecting the global environment. We have been that for many years. We will remain so. We believe that environment and development, the two subjects of this conference, can and should go hand-in-hand. A growing economy creates the resources necessary for environmental protection, and environmental protection makes growth sustainable over the long term. I think that recognition of that fact by leaders from around the world is the central accomplishment of this important Rio conference.

President Bush: US Policy on the Environment and Development

[Departure remarks, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, June 11, 1992] Well, today I travel to Rio de Janeiro to join over 100 heads of state at the UN Conference on Environment and Development. Informally, the Rio meeting has been called the earth summit. But I want to focus for just a minute on the official name. I think it's critical that we take both those words--environment and development-- equally seriously, and we do. On the environment, America's record is second to none. No other nation has done more--more rapidly--to clean up the water, the air, or preserve public land. No other nation has done more to advance the state of technology that promises cleaner growth. We are proposing to double forest assistance. No other nation has put in place stricter standards to curb pollution in the future. We've done a great deal, and we are determined to do more. But let me say up front: I am determined to protect the environment, and I'm also determined to protect the American taxpayer. The day of the open checkbook is over. I will go to Rio with a series of sound proposals designed to foster both environmental protection and economic growth. I'll sign a climate convention that calls for sound action--like increased energy efficiency and cleaner air. I'll offer technology cooperation, because I believe American technology can help clean up the world's environment. I'll propose to share US science, the most advanced in the world, to increase understanding of these complex issues. I'll bring my Forests for the Future Initiative--the most concrete and effective plan for dealing with the pressing problems of deforestation of all those that have been proposed at Rio. And, finally, I go to Rio with a firm conviction: Environmental protection and a growing economy are inseparable. No matter what some people may want to pretend, they are inseparable. It is counterproductive to promote one at the expense of the other. For the past half-century, the United States has been a great engine of global economic growth and it's going to stay that way. Every American knows what that means for us. What many may not know is that the world also has a stake in a strong American economy. Right now, one-half of the developing countries' exports of manufactured goods to all industrialized nations are sold--yes--in the United States of America. A weak economy in this country would harm workers in other nations and cut their export earnings to a trickle. Nations struggling to meet the most elemental needs of their people can spare little to protect the environment. Many governments and many individuals from the United States and other nations have pressed us to sign a treaty on what's called "biodiversity." I don't expect that pressure to let up when I reach Rio. The treaty's intent is noble--to ensure protection of natural habitat for the world's plants and animal life. The United States has better protection for species and habitat than any nation on earth. An no one disagrees with the goal of the treaty, but the truth is, it contains provisions that have nothing--nothing-- to do with biodiversity. Take just one example. The private sector is proving it can help generate solutions to our environmental problem. The treaty includes provisions that discourage technological innovation, [and] treats them as common property though they are developed at great cost by private companies and American workers. We know what will happen: Remove incentives and we'll see fewer of the technological advances that help us protect our planet. My Forests for the Future Initiative will offer real assistance--real assistance--to protect habitat[s]. A down payment of $150 million in new US assistance toward the goal of doubling worldwide funding for forests--it invites developing countries to propose their best plans for forest conservation, and it encourages innovation like biotechnology that will help us protect biodiversity worldwide. I cannot speak for actions other nations may take. But this I promise: I will stand up for American interests and the interests of a cleaner environment. And if the United States has to be the only nation to stand against the biodiversity treaty as now drawn, so be it. I believe deeply in protecting our common environment, and I will proudly present in Rio the US record that is second to none anywhere in the world. So thank you all very much; and off we go to Rio. And may God bless our great country. Thank you.

William K. Reilly: Renewing the Earth: Economics and the Environment

[William K. Reilly, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and head of the US Delegation to UNCED Remarks at the UNCED opening session, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 3, 1992] Mr. President, heads of state and heads of government, excellencies, delegates, and friends: In his 1931 novel, The Violent Land, the Brazilian writer, Jorge Amado, then just 19 years old, wrote of the journeys of those who flocked to the lands of the state of Bahia to clear the forests to grow cocoa. In one passage of the book, the men are caught in a lightning storm in the forest. Amado writes: "The men huddled together in fright, for the forest inspired a religious awe. . . . Here everything was reminiscent of the beginning of the world. Impenetrable and mysterious, ancient as time itself and young as spring. . . ." In like fashion, we have come to this great country to help ensure that the cycle of the planetary renewal, "ancient as time itself and young as spring," goes on unimpaired by human activity, remains friendly to commerce, and continues to sustain healthy life and a flourishing civilization. Reviewing the state of this stressed planet and of its striving, hopeful, and especially its needy people, the United States embraces enthusiastically the goals of this conference, its priority to sustainable development and to a better relationship between humans and nature, the oceans and atmosphere, the forests and the climate, all species of plants and animals, in a spirit of cooperation and democratic participation. Meeting in the nation that is home to the largest and richest forests on earth, it is fitting that we here give to conservation of forests our highest priority, and we in the United States do so at this conference. Just 2 days ago, President Bush announced an ambitious initiative to fund forest conservation in developing countries. President Bush's initiative aims at no less than doubling assistance to developing countries for forest conservation and sustainable use. President Bush proposes partnerships between donor and developing countries--by which countries will come together and craft the most effective programs for conserving forests, programs built on the principles of sustainable use. I want to take this moment to welcome all countries--developed and developing alike--to join us in this initiative. We can begin now to forge these forestry partnerships at this historic conference. The world's forests need our help. Forests are key to a healthy planet. They provide a home for plants and animals, they regulate the rain, they sequester carbon, and, thereby, moderate global climate change. For many nations, they provide valuable economic goods, including fuel wood, timber, and non-timber products. They conserve soil, and they renew the human spirit. But they are being ravaged at an alarming rate. Forty-two million acres of tropical forests are destroyed each year. Many temperate and boreal forests are being degraded by air pollution, insects, disease, fire, and unsustainable cutting. The United States manages the world's largest forestry program, spending $6.4 billion a year on domestic forest management, and reaching an international agreement on principles on forest conservation of all forests is a top priority of the United States at this conference. There are other areas of our global environment that need our immediate attention. The United States strongly supports the climate change agreement that more than 140 nations successfully concluded last month. The United States has taken the lead in developing an action plan for controlling greenhouse gases that is detailed and effective. Most of these actions are already underway, others are awaiting legislative approval. We have already issued the regulations requiring electrical generating facilities to install computerized environmental monitors to measure and to report CO2 emissions. The United States is also committed to protecting the oceans of the world, and we support development of an UNCED action plan to control land-based sources of marine pollution and to improve the protection of marine life. Real progress on the world's environmental problems cannot be made, however, without public participation and involvement. In the United States, we have found that giving people access to information on the types and amounts of pollutants released in their communities is one of the most effective means of achieving environmental improvements. We encourage other countries to realize the benefits of publicly available information and join us in endorsing the application of community right to know principles on an international scale that provides data on pollution from industrial activities to neighbors, employees, and the general public. Whether we are able to realize the goals we set for ourselves at this conference will also depend on technology cooperation and financial assistance. The United States strongly supports technology cooperation with developing countries to help them find sustainable paths to economic development. And while we believe that each country must pay the major share of its environmental efforts, we recognize the need for outside resources to assist developing nations. To those who still believe that there remains a fundamental conflict between economic growth and environmental protection--well, let them travel to Eastern Europe. Let them see the rivers in which most of the water is so corrosive that it is useless even for cooling machinery. Let them experience sulfur dioxide levels so high that 500-year-old monuments crumbled in just 40 years. Let them confront Eastern Europe's spiraling rates of infant mortality, chronic lung disorders, worker absenteeism, and premature deaths; cities blackened by thick dust; chemicals that make up a substantial percentage of river flows. Entire nations now live in the dark shadow of an environmental catastrophe because they thought that pollution control would inhibit their economic growth. Parts of Eastern Europe are literally uninhabitable; zones of ecological disaster cover more than a quarter of one country's land area. Russians by the millions live in cities with dangerously polluted air; in 1988, military gas masks were issued to thousands of Ukrainians to protect them from toxic emissions from a meat processing plant. The sad irony is that the very policies which ravaged these countries' natural systems--policies intended to relax pollution controls in order to stimulate economic development--also devastated their economies. The economic drain from these environmental burdens, in terms of lost productivity, disability benefits, health care, and so on is staggering. One environment minister from Eastern Europe explained to me that environmental contamination in his country represents a 15% drag on his country's gross national product. By comparison, combined spending on pollution control, on air and water pollution, and waste management in the United States accounts for 2% of GNP, very high by comparison with other developed countries. The lessons of Eastern Europe could not be more stark. It carries a message for all of us at this conference: healthy natural systems are a sine qua non for all human activity, including economic activity; a clean and healthy environment is a prerequisite to sustained economic prosperity. Conversely, however, economic growth can be and is the engine of environmental improvement. Just as poverty is the worst pollution, only economic growth can pay for the scrubbers and baghouses, the wastewater treatment plants and catalytic converters and clean technologies necessary to environmental health. Environmental policy in the United States has been very successful over the past 20 years, and we offer that experience of high aspirations, vigorous enforcement, generous allotments for parks and wildlife refuges and wilderness, and market-based incentives, such as pollution rights trading, for whatever use it may offer to other countries. Our pollution levels of air and water are sharply down compared with 20 years ago, even as our economy has grown. Many of our rivers run cleaner now that they have at any time in the past 100 years. We offer our mistakes, in contaminating large numbers of sites with hazardous waste--waste that we are now cleaning up at tremendous expense; in throwing away too much; in straightening and redirecting rivers and streams; and in profligate loss of soils. Mistakes, too, can be instructive. I want to close by noting that the greatest accomplishment of this conference will not occur here in Rio. It is the role this gathering will play in rising environmental consciousness in cities, towns, and villages around the globe. The Stockholm conference [The Global Conference on the Human Environment] raised the profile of international environmental concerns, and many countries followed up by creating environment ministries. But environment in most countries did not become a priority issue, nor were the trade, economic, and foreign policies of nations typically reformed to reflect environmental values. The promise of this conference is for such reform. Unlike 20 years ago, the world leaders who gather here next week will be considering environmental issues not parallel to but integrated with the central issues of development, trade, agriculture, and commerce; seeking to reconcile the now inextricably linked goals of economic growth and environmental protection. So let us make that long- awaited marriage. I hope that when we look back 20 years from now, people will say that it was at Rio in 1992 that it became clear that environment and development are--and must be--a top priority, integrated with the traditional high issues of state. Thus, may Rio become symbolic of a great reconciliation, where economics seriously takes account of the environment, and where the developed world engages the developing countries seriously in taking up the shared and urgent task of restoring an increasingly beleaguered planet earth.

President Bush: America's Commitment To the Global Environment

[Address at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, June 1, 1992 (introductory remarks deleted)] Twenty years ago . . . the leaders of the world gathered in Sweden to talk about the human environment. The Stockholm Declaration that they adopted had a simple conclusion, that "through fuller knowledge and wiser action, we can achieve for ourselves and our posterity a better life in an environment more in keeping with human needs and hopes." Much has been accomplished since those early days of environmentalism, and much has been learned. And we've learned that only market-oriented economies and democratic systems provide the accountability needed to protect against environmental degradation. The coating of soot that the world found when the curtain of secrecy was pulled back from Eastern Europe was but one visible demonstration of that. We've learned that the economy can grow even while pollution is reduced. Since 1973, our GDP has grown by more than 50%. And yet air quality has gotten better: Emissions of carbon monoxide and smog-forming ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter are all down by more than 20%. And water quality has gotten better: We've achieved an 80% reduction in suspended solids from industrial and sewage treatment plants. We've learned that technology--spurred by the right incentives--can provide help to the environment that no amount of regulation of old technology could have achieved. Technological progress can cut pollution rather than increase it. And at the same time, the efficiency gained is good for profits. And we've learned that market-based mechanisms and flexibility-- aimed at ambitious objectives and backed up by rigorous enforcement--can help us solve environmental problems at less cost than command and control regulation. We've learned about a new generation of environmental problems that are global in scope, and that will require international cooperation to solve. This week--and I referred to this earlier--over 100 heads of state will gather in Rio de Janeiro, and it will be time to apply those lessons. And what better place to discuss our plans for taking on the problems of the international environment than here at Goddard. I thought as I was on this little tour--which was all too quick but, nevertheless, gave me a little feel about the magnificent work that the wonderful employees of Goddard do--I thought wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if these 100 or more heads of state could actually walk through the laboratories here and get a practical feeling for what it is you are doing; to see how they can better monitor the changes that they talk about or that they get from their environmental ministers. It's a wonderful thing. And I think it's very timely that I've had this opportunity, and I look forward to sharing with those people down in Rio. It is science developed here that has given the world a new window from which to see its environment. A spacecraft managed by Goddard provided humanity with its first image of earth from space. It was your scientists--Goddard's scientists--who developed the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite launched last year, which is providing us new insight about the content of the ozone layer. And the lion's share of the science that the world is using to understand our climate comes from a program with its heart and soul right here--the Global Change Research Program, built around the Mission to Planet Earth that Goddard is developing. When we go to Rio, the United States will go proudly as the world's leader, not just in environmental research, but in environmental action. The United States was the first nation to recognize the danger of CFC [chlorofluorocarbons] emissions by eliminating aerosol propellants, which we did in 1978. Other nations are now following suit--using the aerosol phaseout as credit to meet the terms of the Montreal Protocol. We are 42% ahead of the schedule required by that agreement. And earlier this year, on the basis of science developed by NASA, we unilaterally decided to speed up our timetable for phasing out CFCs to the end of 1995. We were the first nation, back in 1975, to adopt catalytic converters to reduce those emissions from our cars and trucks. In 1982, we began phasing out lead from American gasoline--and now ambient levels of lead in our air have been cut by 95%. Other nations are only now taking these two steps. I came to this office committed to extend America's record of environmental leadership. And I've worked to do so in a way that is compatible with economic growth, because this balance is absolutely essential--and because these are twin goals, not mutually exclusive objectives. You see, those who met 20 years ago at Stockholm and called for this UNCED [UN Conference on Environment and Development], this summit, explicitly called for the discussion at Rio to be about both environment and development. And they knew even back then that the two were inextricably linked. Only a growing economy can generate the resources and the will to manage natural assets for the longer term and the common good. But only assets which are so managed can support the growth on which so much human hope is hinged. By definition, for development to be successful in the long term, it has got to be sustainable. And so I invite comparison of the record that we as a country and as an Administration have built. It is aggressive. It is comprehensive. And it is ambitious, but carefully balanced. What we've done in this Administration reflects the new environmentalism, more sophisticated in its approach, that harnesses the power of the marketplace in the service of the environment. Let me give you some examples. -- The 1990 Clean Air Act, which I proposed and signed into law, is the most ambitious air pollution legislation anywhere on earth. It will cut acid rain; smog; toxic chemical emissions. And yet it will do so with innovations the whole world is watching. We have a trading system for sulfur dioxide reductions, have a new generation of cleaner fuels and cleaner cars, a massive--and, to date, successful--voluntary air toxics reduction program. -- Our national parks are under stress from millions of visitors. And so, just in the last 4 years, we've added over 1.5 million acres to America's parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and to other public land. We've created 57 new wildlife refuges and restored or protected more than 500,000 acres a year of important wetlands. And, at the same time, we've streamlined the permitting process so that projects which don't hurt wetlands aren't slowed down. And we've made sure to respect people's private property rights. -- We've placed a moratorium on oil and gas drilling along the most environmentally sensitive areas of our coasts; signed new laws to protect against oil spills; to end below-cost timber sales in America's largest rain forest, the Tongass; and to promote environmental education. We've backed our laws up with strict enforcement to make the polluters pay. And the results have been record contributions to cleanups from businesses. -- And we have attended to the international environment--with new agreements to stop the irresponsible export of toxic wastes, to ban trade in ivory and thereby stop the extinction of elephants due to poaching, and to use debt forgiveness to protect the environment through debt for nature swaps. In short, our country, America, retains its place at the forefront of international environmental accomplishment. Our laws have served as a model for environmental laws the world over. America's environmental accomplishments have not come by mistake--they are the result of sustained investment. Today, the United States spends about 2% of its gross domestic product--over $100 billion per year--on pollution control. In comparison to other nations, that's among the highest in the world. Americans have always believed that actions speak louder than words. And simple wisdom has guided our approach to the questions on the table at Rio. We will sign a good agreement on climate change. It is based on the idea that every nation should prepare an action strategy--as we in the United States have done. We first laid our plan on the table in February 1991--with specific policy proposals and specific calculations concerning how much greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced. When the science on CFCs changed, we added new measures, and we again laid our plan on table. We showed that our policies would reduce projected year 2000 greenhouse gas emissions by 125 million to 200 million tons-- or by 7% to 11%. No other nation except The Netherlands has laid out such a specific plan of action. And that's why we insisted that the focus be on results, not on rhetoric. It may not have been widely reported in the press, but in area after area, the United States laid down specific proposals and worked for their adoption: forests; oceans; living marine resources; public participation; financing. Let me be clear: Our commitment to action did not begin and will not end with Rio. So when I travel down there next week, to Brazil, I will bring with me several proposals to extend the commitment of the world community into the future. Let me outline for you my four-point plan of cooperation: First, I will propose a major new initiative to protect and enhance the world's forests. I mentioned lessons learned about cost effectiveness. Well, halting the loss of the earth's forests is one of the most cost-effective steps we can take to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Forests also filter the air and water. They provide products from timber and fuelwood to pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs. They are home to more than half the world's species. At the Houston G-7 [Group of 7] summit 2 years ago, I proposed a global forest convention. At UNCED, we should get agreement on the principles leading up to it. But I propose today to move ahead faster. At Rio, I will ask the other industrialized countries to join me in doubling worldwide forest assistance--with a goal of halting the loss of the world's forests by the end of the decade. As a down payment, the United States will increase its bilateral forest assistance by $150 million next year. The plan is to encourage partnerships--between recipient countries who could propose new projects and investor countries who, in effect, could bid to support the most effective proposals for sequestering CO2 or preserving biodiversity. Second, with respect to climate: The signing of a convention that calls for action plans is simply a first step--we must implement them. So I will join in proposing a prompt start to adoption of climate action plans. Of course, as new and better science becomes available on climate change, we will adjust our action plan accordingly. The solution to climate change must include the developing countries. While today they account for about a quarter of the world's emissions, by the year 2025, they will contribute over half. So we must have their participation--and we will fund "country studies" to get them started. These countries will need new technologies if they are to enjoy "green growth." And America can provide them. So my budget includes an investment of almost $1 billion in developing new energy-efficient technologies. Hundreds of American businessmen will be traveling to Rio to make the case for our technology. But this effort must continue. So then the third part of our plan is to support a program, a broad program of technology cooperation. In particular, we're going to create a Technology Cooperation Corps to identify the green technology-- those green technological needs of countries around the world--and then to knock down the barriers to making it available. The fourth point of my program for a cleaner future is a continued program of research and understanding. This year, we are requesting over $1.4 billion for the Global Change Research Program--that's more than the amount spent on climate research by the rest of the world put together. With [Administrator] Dan Goldin's leadership here at NASA, we will push for a program that provides results faster, cheaper, and better. At Rio, I will propose to make the data from our climate change program available and affordable for scientists and researchers all around the world. As part of this effort, we will distribute at that conference, at UNCED, thousands of copies of computer disks with data on greenhouse effects, and we will open this year a Global Change Research information office. These four steps--a dramatic program to protect and to enhance forests; quick action on climate change; cooperation in deploying cleaner, more efficient technology; and then an ongoing program to develop and share sound science--can help us seize that opportunity long after those speeches in Rio have been given and the conference is over. Two decades ago, when they gathered at Stockholm, the leaders of the world could not possibly have foreseen the tumultuous events of the intervening 2 decades. Then they worried about nuclear war as a chief environmental threat. They couldn't have known that today the specter of nuclear war--with its unthinkable destruction--would be calmed as never before in our post-war history. They could not possibly have envisioned that, with the fall of statism and communism, those who would come to Rio would have had the chance to launch a new generation of clean growth--guided by the wisdom of free peoples and fueled by the power of free markets. They could never have known how far we'd have come in 20 years. Now, it is for us to imagine how much further we can go. And what better place to make that point than standing before these people that are dedicated to demonstrating to the rest of the world how much further we can go. I am grateful to each and every one of you who gives of himself or herself to further the science and, thus, to improve and keep something very, very special--the environmental quality of our entire world. Thank you for what you do.

Fact Sheet: US Environmental Accomplishments in Support of UNCED

[Fact sheet released by the Office of the Press Secretary, the White House, Washington, DC, June 1, 1992.] On June 12, 1992, President Bush will participate, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the leaders of over 100 nations in the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). In his June 1 address at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the President outlined the record of US achievements in protecting the environment and proposed a four-point plan of cooperation moving forward from UNCED. The four proposals offered by the President for moving forward from the UNCED meeting include: -- A major effort to protect and enhance the world's forests, by doubling worldwide forest assistance: As a down payment on this initiative, the President pledged to increase US bilateral forest assistance by $150 million next year; -- Support for a "prompt start" in implementing the national action programs called for in the proposed Framework Convention on Climate Change: The President stated that the US would provide support for "country studies" to assist developing countries in formulating national action programs on climate change; -- A broad program of technology cooperation, including the establishment of a Technology Cooperation Corps, comprised of teams of US businessmen and women who would identify the "green technology" needs of countries around the world and work to remove barriers to the acquisition of such technology; and -- Support for increased climate change research with a series of programs to make earth observation data acquired through NASA's Mission to Planet Earth available to governments, scientists, and researchers around the world: To begin this effort, the United States will make available in Rio thousands of computer disks, each with a billion bytes of greenhouse effects data. As more definitive scientific answers become available, the United States will adjust its action agenda accordingly. The President noted that the United States had long been at the forefront of international environmental protection efforts. He pointed out that the United States has built a solid record of achievement in many of the areas to be considered at UNCED. What follows is a more detailed description of that record.
Efforts of the Bush Administration on the Key Subjects To Be Discussed at UNCED
Global Climate Change Framework Convention. The United States expects to sign the Framework Convention on Global Climate Change, which calls upon industrialized countries to adopt national action programs that will limit greenhouse gas emissions and protect greenhouse gas sinks. The proposed framework convention requires all nations to publish detailed information on these action plans and to project emissions that will result from them. The aim of these plans and emissions projections is to return, by the year 2000, net greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. The US Action Agenda on Climate Change. The United States, throughout the negotiations, believed that the climate agreement should be aimed at encouraging real actions, as opposed to mere rhetorical commitments. The United States is the only nation (except for The Netherlands) to have published a detailed action plan for limiting net greenhouse gas emissions. The United States first laid its detailed action plan on the table at the initial negotiating session on the framework convention back in February 1991 at Chantilly, Virginia. At that time, the agenda projected US net greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2000 to be at or below 1987 levels. In early 1992, new scientific evidence indicated that reductions in CFC [chlorofluorocarbons] emissions would not contribute as much as previously believed to the mitigation of climate change. In March 1992, the United States published a series of additional measures it was prepared to undertake to update its action plan. The results of this update indicate that the US action plan will reduce US net greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2000 by 125 to 200 million tons, or 7-11%, below projected levels. Specific US Measures Contained in the Action Agenda: -- The 1990 Clean Air Act. The act, proposed and signed into law by President Bush, will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other atmospheric pollutants, including volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. In addition, by capping sulfur dioxide emissions at 10 million tons below 1980 levels and allowing utilities full freedom of choice in how to achieve reductions, the act creates a powerful conservation incentive for US electric utilities, which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions. -- America the Beautiful Reforestation Program. The President has proposed to plant 1 billion trees per year across the United States. Trees sequester carbon dioxide and thus serve as a sink for greenhouse gases. -- The National Energy Strategy (NES). First proposed by President Bush in February 1991, the NES includes actions to increase utilization of natural gas (which releases less carbon dioxide per unit of energy); increase efficiency in coal use; facilitate the safe use of nuclear energy; increase the use of solar power and other alternative energy sources; and encourage utilities and consumers to produce and use electricity efficiently. Legislation incorporating major elements of the NES has passed both the Senate and the House, and the Administration has moved ahead administratively with more than 90 NES measures that do not require legislation. -- Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Energy Efficiency. The Bush Administration is pursuing, through existing authority, several measures to encourage more efficient lighting, building design, heating and cooling, and appliances. For example, more than 500 companies have already signed up for EPA's "Green Lights" program-- which will bring more energy efficient lighting to over 2 billion square feet of office space, more than the total office space in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Detroit combined. The Administration proposes to expand similar programs to office computers, industrial motors, and commercial building heating and cooling. In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE) has promulgated rules improving efficiency standards for energy-consuming home appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. Energy auditing programs are being expanded to aid smaller companies in identifying and implementing options for low-cost energy saving investments. -- Reductions of Other Greenhouse Gases. The EPA will promulgate rules to reduce methane emissions from landfills, in addition to pursuing several other methane reduction programs. In total, the Administration's strategy projects methane emission reductions totaling 25-58 millions of carbon equivalent by the year 2000. Protection of the Ozone Layer. In February of this year, President Bush unilaterally accelerated the US phaseout of ozone-depleting substances to the end of 1995, 4 years ahead of the international deadlines set in the amended Montreal Protocol and called on other nations to match the US commitment. US law (under the Clean Air Act) also includes a schedule for phase-out of HCFCs [hydrochloro- fluorocarbons] which is not required under the provisions of the Montreal Protocol. The Bush Administration in 1989 implemented a fee on US production of ozone harming substances (CFCs) to accelerate reductions. Today, US CFC production levels are 42% below the level allowed by the Montreal Protocol. The United States was the first nation to provide funds to assist developing countries to reduce CFCs. The US will provide $50 million over 3 years to assist developing nations in meeting the terms of the Montreal Protocol. Global Change Research. The United States has funded the world's most extensive program of climate change research. The President's proposal for $1.4 billion in FY 1993 for the US Global Change Research Program represents more than is being spent on climate change research by the rest of the world combined. The United States has spent over $2.6 billion for global climate research from 1990 to 1992.
Global Forest Convention. At the Houston in 1990, President Bush proposed and the G-7 industrialized nations adopted a call for a global convention to protect and improve the world's forests. Subsequently, the United States published a comprehensive set of forestry principles. The United States is working to obtain their adoption at UNCED. "Forests for the Future." On June 1, 1992, the President announced a new initiative to conserve and enhance the earth's forests. This initiative proposes to double worldwide international forest conservation assistance to $2.7 billion from $1.35 bil-lion. The initiative will accelerate international progress toward a global forest agreement. As a down payment on the initiative, the United States will increase bilateral forestry assistance by $150 million next year. Existing US Forestry Financial Assistance. In its FY 1993 budget, the Administration has included approximately $121 million in direct bilateral forest aid. The United States currently provides additional forest assistance through the interest generated by loan forgiveness under the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, through its contributions to the UN organizations and the World Food Program, through loan guarantees provided by multilateral development banks, and through loan guarantees provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In addition, the United States has pledged $5 million to the Brazil Rainforest Pilot Program, which was endorsed at previous G-7 meetings. Since 1988, US international forest conservation assistance has increased in direct outlays by 156%. Reforestation. The Administration continues to press for full funding of its "America the Beautiful" Treeplanting Initiative, which has a goal of planting 1 billion trees per year across America. This is the most ambitious reforestation program undertaken by any country. In FY 1993, the Administration has requested $139 million for this program. Last year, Congress cut the Administration's $140 million request to $66 million.
US Proposals on Oceans at UNCED. The United States is encouraging other nations to join its proposal to protect oceans, coasts, and living marine resources, by better controlling land-based pollution of oceans. The comprehensive strategy proposed by the United States forms the core of the UNCED Agenda 21 action plan. It would: -- Use ecosystem approaches to manage living marine resources to maximize sustainable harvest of fisheries; -- Improve coastal zone management to ensure ecologically sensitive coastal development; -- Create a revolving fund for sewage treatment facilities in developing countries; -- Establish a clearinghouse on marine pollution information through the UN Environment Program (UNEP); and -- Support the Global Ocean Observing System to improve understanding of ocean systems. Driftnet Fishing Ban. The United States led a successful effort for UN adoption of a resolution to ban large-scale driftnet fishing by the end of 1992. Fisheries Development. Through the national fish hatcheries, the United States produces annually over 200 million fish from over 50 species such as Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon and steelhead, lake trout, and striped bass. Oil Spill Prevention. At the Paris G-7 summit in 1989, President Bush offered proposals that resulted in the 80-nation Convention on Oil Spill Preparedness and Response. In 1990, the President signed the Oil Spill Pollution Act, which requires double hulls on new tankers and improves oil spill response capabilities. National Marine Sanctuaries. The United States is home to nine marine national parks, which harbor a wide diversity of plants and animals. President Bush has more than doubled these areas to over 5,000 square nautical miles. Coastal Protection. The President established a moratorium on offshore oil and gas development until after the year 2000 for 99% of the California coast, the entire coasts of Washington and Oregon, and much of the southern Florida and New England coasts. Water Pollution Control. The President proposed and secured $300 million in FY 1992 to accelerate construction of secondary sewage treatment plants in the largest American coastal cities which do not now have secondary treatment, including Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, and Baltimore. The President has proposed an additional $340 million in FY 1993 to continue this effort. Ban on Ocean Dumping. The Bush Administration secured agreements to ban ocean dumping of sewage sludge and industrial wastes. As a result of these agreements, all ocean sludge dumping will cease by June of this year. The Administration also established a pilot tracking system to prevent the dumping of medical waste.
Biodiversity Convention. The United States was an early proponent of the biodiversity convention and continues to provide strong support to the conservation of biological diversity through protection of natural habitats. The United States is disappointed that the draft biodiversity convention is seriously flawed and, therefore, has concluded, after a thorough review, that the United States will not be able to sign the convention as it now stands. The convention as drafted contains provisions that go beyond legitimate biodiversity protection goals. It also does not contain acceptable language, as the climate change convention does, establishing the role of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) in providing financial assistance. In addition, the draft convention would retard the development of new technology to meet future needs by providing inadequate protection of intellectual property rights and implying that biotechnology development is unsafe. Biodiversity Research. The United States will propose at Rio de Janeiro a biodiversity research initiative that will: 1. Suggest the development of biodiversity inventories and surveys to create the information base necessary for the protection of species; and 2. Propose the creation of a US center for biological diversity information. US Record on Biological Diversity. The United States has a long record of support for the conservation of biological resources, for example: -- The United States contains over 270 million acres of lands specifically protected as National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, Wilderness Areas, or Wild and Scenic Rivers. -- Since 1989, the Bush Administration has created 57 new wildlife refuges and added over 750,000 acres to the National Wildlife Refuge system. -- The 1990 Farm Bill, signed by President Bush, established a Wetlands Reserve Program, which will restore wetlands previously converted to cropland to conditions suitable for migrating waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. The President has requested funds to allow the reserve to include 1 million acres. -- The United States proposed and agreed to an international ban on trade in ivory, which will help protect the African elephant against poaching. -- Under the Bush Administration, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has sharply increased its assistance programs to conserve biodiversity. In the current fiscal year, USAID will spend over $60 million on conservation of biological diversity, a five-fold increase over 5 years ago. -- The US Endangered Species Act is one of the strongest laws for the protection of threatened or endangered species in the world. Almost 400 recovery plans for threatened or endangered species are now in place, compared to less than 50 in 1981. -- The President signed into law the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which will protect the flyways of migratory birds in the United States and Canada. In 1991 and 1992, the United States will spend $140 million on the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
Basel Convention. The Bush Administration signed and proposed needed legislation to implement the Basel Convention, which prevents the illegal export and dumping of hazardous waste. The United States exports less than 1% of the hazardous waste generated within its borders. Hazardous Waste Cleanup. The Bush Administration has dramatically accelerated cleanup progress under the EPA's [Environmental Protection Agency] Superfund program. Emergency cleanups have been undertaken to protect human health and the environment at more than 2,300 sites nationwide, and extensive clean-up is underway or completed at more than 400 of the most complex sites. Last year, following the President's directive that polluters should pay for clean-up, the federal government secured a record $1.4 billion in private party commitments to clean up hazardous wastes. In each of the last 3 years, Congress has cut President Bush's budget request for cleanups under the Superfund program. Voluntary Toxic Reductions. Under the Bush Administration, the EPA has instituted an innovative program in which companies agree to reduce releases and off-site transfers of 17 highly toxic chemicals by 33% in 1992 and 50% by 1995. Over 700 firms have signed up for this "33/50" program, committing to reduce more than 300 million lbs. of lawful emissions of the 17 priority chemicals. Cleaning Up Federal Facilities. The Bush Administration has tripled funding to clean up facilities owned and operated by the federal government, in order to ensure that they are brought into compliance with environmental laws that apply to private sector facilities. For Department of Energy atomic weapon sites alone, the President has increased funds devoted to cleanup and compliance activities from $1.8 billion in FY 1989 to $5.5 billion in FY 1993. Recycling. President Bush signed [an] executive order to encourage recycling and waste reduction, as well as procurement of goods made with recycled materials, at all federal agencies.
Agriculture and Land Management
Agricultural Subsidies. High levels of agricultural subsidies degrade the environment by encouraging the excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers. The United States cut agricultural subsidies by 25% in the 1990 Farm Bill. Since 1986, the annual level of outlays for commodity subsidies has fallen from $26 billion to approximately $12 billion. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Under the CRP, the United States is withdrawing approximately 40 million acres of highly erodible land from production over the course of 10 years. Under this program, the government pays the landowner annual rent and a portion of the costs of installing alternative ground cover. Parks, Forests, and other Public Lands. Since 1989, the President has doubled funding for parks, wildlife, and outdoor recreation programs under his America the Beautiful Initiative. The program includes: -- The acquisition of critical nationally significant lands--1.5 million acres have been added since 1989 to America's national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and BLM [Bureau of Land Management] lands; -- The expansion of recreation opportunities like camping, boating, fishing, and hiking; -- The protection of natural resources on these public lands; and -- The development of partnerships with state governments and non-profit entities to protect and enhance the public lands. Included in "America the Beautiful" is a near tripling of grants--to $60 million in FY 1993--to states under the Land and Water Conservation Fund for parks and other outdoor recreation facilities. Wetlands Protection: President Bush has increased funds for wetlands research, protection, and enhancement from $295 million in 1989 to $600 million in 1992. His budget for FY 1993 requests $812 million for this purpose. This funding has allowed the Administration, in conjunction with state and private partners, to acquire and conserve almost 2 million acres of valuable wetlands.
Public Participation and Environmental Assessment
US legislation supports public participation through statutes such as the Administrative Procedures Act, which mandates public hearings on most regulations, and the Freedom of Information Act, which provides public access to most government documents. The United States pioneered the use of environmental impact assessments, which require notice to the potentially affected public and allows for a period of public comment. The US also pioneered programs to provide the public with access to information on environmental risks. For example, the community right to-know program, enacted in the mid-1980s, requires companies to compile inventories of the release of specified chemicals. These inventories are provided to the government and the public. The United States argued successfully for the inclusion in the Rio Declaration of a principle that notes the importance of public participation to the achievement of sustainable development. The United States worked to establish rules at UNCED that enhance public participation by providing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with the opportunity to discuss their concerns with delegations. Environmental Education. The President signed into law the National Environmental Education Act of 1990. The Bush Administration has established the Environmental Education and Training Foundation to encourage private sector efforts to improve environmental education, the Environmental Training Institute to train government officials and private sector executives from other countries in dealing with environmental problems, and other programs.
Financial Assistance
The United States has been the world's major contributor of international assistance for many years. Total US assistance for economic, environmental, humanitarian, and development purposes now totals over $11 billion. In FY 1992, the United States is providing an estimated $580 million dollars specifically for international environmental financial assistance. Global Environment Facility (GEF). The United States and other OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] countries agree that the GEF should be the principal mechanism for providing financial assistance to developing countries to meet the incremental costs of projects that would provide global environmental benefits in addressing problems in areas such as climate change, biodiversity, oceans, and ozone depletion. The United States has contributed $150 million over 3 years in parallel financing and has pledged $50 million to the core fund of the GEF. Montreal Protocol Fund. The United States is contributing $50 mil- lion over 3 years to the interim multilateral fund, established under the Montreal Protocol to help developing countries meet the incremental costs of complying with the agreement. The United States is the first and largest contributor to this fund. Mexican Border Plan. In support of its efforts to secure a North American Free Trade Agreement, the Bush Administration has worked to coordinate and strengthen joint US-Mexico environmental programs. The Administration developed an environmental action plan for the border area. The Administration secured $103 million in FY 1992 for activities in support of this plan and has requested $201 million for these activities in FY 1993. Brazil Rain Forest Pilot Program. The Bush Administration has committed $5 million in additional funding for this pilot program, agreed to at the Houston and London G-7 summits, to protect the Brazilian rainforest. In addition, the United States provides approximately $15 million in existing bilateral funds for this purpose. Country Studies. The United States will provide $25 million to developing nations over a 2-year period for climate change country studies. The money will help these nations implement reporting obligations under the framework climate convention. Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (EAI). Under the EAI, the President has provided, in FY 1991, $34 million and proposed in both FY 1992 and FY 1993 $100 million for environmental purposes. Under this program, participating countries in Latin America can create environmental funds in their own currency from the interest on debt reduced by the United States. East European Assistance. The Bush Administration has provided assistance to establish the Central and East European Environment Center in Budapest, Hungary. The center seeks to strengthen the capabilities of non-government organizations to help address problems such as pesticide disposal, lead in drinking water, and other problems. In addition, the US initiative to reduce Poland's debt obligations has allowed the establishment of the Polish Environmental Foundation. US-Asia Environmental Partnership. Late last year, the President announced the establishment of this partnership, an unprecedented coalition of US and Asian governments, businesses, and community groups working to improve Asia's environment, with an emphasis on technology cooperation. Multilateral Development Lending. The United States worked successfully for the adoption of a directive that requires strengthened environmental impact assessments by multilateral development banks.
The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The United States has supported the world's most advanced program of global change research. Since 1989, the United States has invested over $2.6 billion in research to improve our understanding of critical earth systems such as climate, oceans, and atmosphere. For FY 1993, the President has requested $1.4 billion for this program. The United States investment represents over half the annual amount spent on global change research by the entire world. Mission to Planet Earth. The cornerstone of the USGCRP is NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, a coordinated system of space observations, science, data processing, and modelling to better understand the earth's environmental systems. The first NASA launch of a Mission to Planet Earth satellite occurred last September, when the shuttle Discovery deployed the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), which is providing data on the content of the ozone layer and the effects of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on global climate. Under this program, the United States will launch or participate in 30 additional missions over the next 6 years. Earth Observing System (EOS). The EOS program, the centerpiece of Mission to Planet Earth, consists of a series of instruments to be launched in the late 1990s that will make simultaneous, global- scale observations of climate and related environmental variables. At President Bush's direction, the EOS program was restructured in 1991. Through the use of advanced technology and reduced complexity, these satellites will be acquired more quickly and at less cost than previously planned, providing earlier data in order to assist the policy-making process. The EOS restructuring was consistent with the emphasis of the President and the new NASA Administrator Dan Goldin on obtaining "faster, cheaper, and better" results from the space program. Last week, the President signed a directive establishing the space-based global change observation system, which provides a comprehensive policy framework for all federal space-based observation systems. Stratospheric Ozone Depletion. It was US science, under the USGCRP, which allowed scientists to understand and observe changes in atmospheric chemistry which are leading to the depletion of stratospheric ozone. NASA results obtained under the USGCRP led to the announcement in February 1992 that the United States would speed up its timetable for phasing out the production of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances. Regional Institutes for Global Change. President Bush, during the 1990 White House Conference on Science and Economics Related to Global Change, invited the countries of the world to join the US in developing three regional research institutes on global change. On May 13, 1992, the United States and 10 other countries of the Americas signed an agreement establishing one of these institutes, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Research. The President's proposed FY 1993 budget includes over $900 million in research and development funds for energy-related technologies that increase the use of alternative sources of energy and increase energy efficiency. This includes research into electric and hybrid vehicles, high speed rail and magnetic levitation technology, fuels from biomass, photovoltaics, and industrial and building energy efficiency. Since 1989, President Bush has increased funding for conservation and renewable energy research and development at the Department of Energy from $324 million to $616 mil-lion per year. Data Sharing. The Bush Administration is committed, as national policy, to the principle of full and open sharing of all global change data at the lowest possible cost. The President stated today that the United States would propose at Rio this policy of making global change data available to scientists and researchers from around the world. As a measure of this policy, the United States plans to distribute at UNCED, at no cost, thousands of computer disks with over a billion bytes of greenhouse effects data. In addition, the United States will open, this year, a Global Change Research Information Office, which will disseminate information on global change to governments, businesses, scientists, and institutions from all interested nations.
Long-term US Leadership in Controlling Pollution and Protecting the Environment
US Commitment to the Environment. The President pointed out that the United States currently spends more than any other nation in controlling pollution and protecting the environment: over $100 billion per year, or about 2% of the US gross national product (GNP). Over the last decade, the United States has spent over $750 billion on pollution control. US Leadership. The President noted that the United States has been far ahead of many other nations in recognizing environmental problems and taking action to solve them. -- Pollution Control on Automobiles. In 1975, the United States began requiring catalytic converters on new automobiles. The European Community will implement this requirement later this year. -- Ban on CFC Use as Spray Can Propellants: In 1978, the United States banned CFC spray-can propellants as a non-essential use for which there were acceptable substitutes. The United States was one of the first nations to implement such a ban. The United States subsequently played a leadership role in concluding the Vienna Convention, signed in 1985, which established a framework to respond to the depletion of the ozone layer. Then- Vice President Bush personally intervened in 1987 to help reach agreement on the original Mon-treal Protocol, which called for a 50% cut in CFC production. President Bush proposed in 1989 to phase out CFC production completely as part of the London amendments to the Protocol, which were signed in 1990. The United States enacted legislation implementing this phaseout by the end of 1999. Earlier this year, President Bush announced that the United States was unilaterally accelerating the phaseout of CFCs and several other ozone depleting substances to the end of 1995. -- Phaseout of Lead in Gasoline: In 1975, the United States began phasing out the use of leaded gasoline. Today, 99% of US cars burn only unleaded fuel, and ambient concentrations of lead in the air have been reduced by 97%. Unleaded gasoline is still not widely available in Europe, although several countries are exploring differential pricing of leaded gasoline as a means to reduce emissions. Air Pollution Reductions. Since 1970, US air emissions of lead have been reduced by 97%; emissions of particulate matter have been reduced by 59%; emissions of sulfur dioxide have been reduced by 25%; emissions of carbon monoxide have been reduced by 41%; emissions of volatile organic compounds have been reduced 29%. Since 1970, US "carbon intensity" or carbon emissions per unit of GDP, have been reduced by approximately 30%. From 1970 to 1990, the United States has reduced sulphur dioxide emissions (SO2) by over 7 million metric tons (mt), particulate emissions by 11.7 million mt, total carbon monoxide (CO) by about 40 million mt per year, total hydrocarbons (VOCs) by about 6.3 million mt, and lead (Pb) by about 200 million mt per year. Water Pollution Reductions. Since 1972, the United States has invested more than $128 billion in federal, state, and local funds to construct municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Since 1973, municipal and industrial water discharges of total suspended solids have been reduced from almost 10 million tons per year to about 2 million tons per year. Since 1972, the amount of oxygen-demanding pollutants leaving the nation's sewage plants has decreased by roughly 46%. Without rapid improvements in sewage treatment, it would have doubled. Habitat and Natural Resource Protection. The cumulative length of rivers designated for federal protection as "wild and scenic" has increased from 868 miles in 1970 to 9,463 in 1990. The acreage included in the National wildlife refuge system increased from 29 million acres in 1970 to 88.5 million acres in 1991. The number of acres in the US wilderness system increased from approximately 10 million acres in 1970 to about 95 million acres in 1990. Since 1972, dolphin captures by US tuna fishermen have been reduced by 90%.

Fact Sheet: Forests for the Future Initiative

[Fact sheet released by the Office of the Press Secretary, the White House, Washington, DC, June 1, 1992.] On June 1, 1992, the President announced an initiative to conserve and sustain the earth's forests. The Forests for the Future Initiative builds on the record of US leadership on this critical global environmental and economic issue. The initiative would put the world on the path to halting the loss of the earth's forests by the beginning of the next century, by conserving and sustaining all forests--tropical, temperate, and boreal. The President proposed to double worldwide international forest conservation assistance from $1.4 billion to $2.7 billion, with participating countries sharing the total on a fair basis. Under the initiative, countries would be invited to engage in a cooperative approach in which interested countries propose programs and work together in forest partnerships.
Benefits of the Initiative
Forest loss is occurring now, not forecast to occur decades from now. Tropical forests, for example, are being lost at over 17 million hectares (42 mil-lion acres) per year according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Fifty percent or more of the temperate forests in Europe are being degraded by air pollution according to the World Resources Institute. The President's initiative will provide several benefits, including: Biodiversity. Forest conservation can help save the earth's precious biological diversity that has been developed over the ages. Although forests cover only a small fraction of the earth's surface, they contain more than 50% of its species. Greenhouse Gases. Because forests store carbon, curbing forest loss would be an extremely cost-effective way to reduce net CO2 emissions. For example, halting the loss of the earth's forests by 2000 would reduce over twice as much CO2 emissions as stabilizing CO2 emissions from industrialized countries at 1990 levels by 2000, at a fraction of the cost. Other Environmental Benefits. Forests also play a key role in preventing soil erosion, limiting flood damage, and ensuring pure drinking water. Economic Benefits. Conserving forests can also have important economic benefits. Forest clearing can be the result of subsidies, and property rules that encourage short-term revenue at the expense of more valuable longer-term assets. For example, forests harbor the secrets of new life-saving drugs and other products. Already, the rosy periwinkle has provided drugs that mean new life for the victims of leukemia and Hodgkins disease.
International Assistance
As part of the initiative, the President proposed a goal of doubling current international forest conservation assistance from $1.4 billion (FAO, 1991) to $2.7 billion next year if other countries join us. -- Participating countries would contribute to the total on a fair basis. As a down payment on the initiative, the United States will commit now to an additional $150 million in bilateral forest assistance next year. The United States will continue and, as appropriate, expand this commitment in the future if other countries join the initiative. -- Doubling the level of international assistance would put the world on a path to halting the loss of the earth's forests by early in the next century, consistent with the strategy mapped out by several key forest conservation groups to halt forest loss over a decade by starting with an investment of $1 billion.
Cooperative Approach
Because the initiative would employ a cooperative approach, no new international bureaucracy would have to be created. -- The additional resources would be mobilized through existing bilateral and multilateral avenues, such as through voluntary "forest partnerships" between interested parties and potentially including the World Bank's Global Environment Facility (GEF). Potential recipients would compete for funding by proposing programs for forest conservation, and potential investors would compete by offering funding packages for projects with the greatest benefits. -- Reliance on these cooperative arrangements would ensure that (1) the most effective and efficient programs are funded, (2) the sovereignty of all nations is respected, and (3) programs match the needs and circumstances of recipient countries. -- The United States proposes to convene a "Forest Partnership Forum" by the end of this year to bring together potential investors and recipients and to share ideas on forest conservation opportunities.
Toward a Global Forest Agreement
At the 1990 in Hous-ton, the President and his G-7 partners called for a Global Forest Agreement to conserve the earth's forests. The Forests for the Future Initiative will accelerate progress toward that goal. -- Efforts to advance a Global Forest Agreement have moved slowly because of the fear that the burden of curbing deforestation would fall disproportionately on poorer countries. -- The President's initiative makes clear that the global benefits of forests will be supported by a globally shared investment. It creates the market incentives needed to make forest conservation economically attractive for both investors and recipients. Countries with forests would not bear the entire burden. Countries without their own forests also benefit from the earth's forests and would, therefore, also share in the investment. -- Forest "conservation" does not mean that forests could no longer be managed and used as an economic resource. On the contrary, it includes the idea that forests do have economic value that can be appropriately sustained in many cases by managing the forest for multiple uses rather than by converting it permanently to non-forest status.

President Bush: President Bush To Attend Rio Conference on the Environment

[Statement released by the White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC, May 12, 1992] I have just informed President Collor of Brazil, UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali, and Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that I will attend the Rio Conference in early June. Today's environmental problems are global--and every nation must help in solving them. As the United States has demonstrated over more than 2 decades, protecting the environment and encouraging economic growth can go hand in hand--in fact, it is our conviction that they must go hand in hand. In the early 1980s, we phased out leaded gasoline. Other countries are now looking to follow suit. We phased out aerosol propellants as early as 1978, and, this year, we announced that we will phase out all CFCs [chlorofluorocarbons] by the end of 1995. In the last 3 years, we have worked to extend that record--signing a new clean air act and an oil pollution act, placing a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in areas off our coasts, investing in our national parks, launching a program to plant 1 billion trees a year, and enforcing our environmental laws to make the polluter pay. Abroad, the United States has worked hard to promote responsible environmental policies through our bilateral aid programs and through the World Bank and the UN system. I believe our decades- long experience in developing and implementing economically sound policies can help others in improving the environment. In Rio, world leaders will have before them a number of documents. One of those documents will be a framework convention on climate change, which was concluded successfully this past weekend. We are pleased with the outcome, and I congratulate the negotiators for joining together in taking this historic step. This framework convention would not impede economic growth and our ability to create new jobs. Climate change is only one subject to be addressed at Rio. It is vitally important that progress be made as well in protecting our oceans and living marine resources, in promoting openness and public participation in environmental decision-making, in promoting sound management and protection of the world's forests and biodiversity, and [in] many other areas. I look forward to discussing how all nations, working together, can ensure that we hand over to our children and grandchildren a healthy and safe planet.

Rio Declaration On Environment and Development

[Text of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development adopted at the final session of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 14, 1992.]
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992, Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, and seeking to build upon it, With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people, Working towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system, Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home, Proclaims that: Principle 1: Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature. Principle 2: States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. Principle 3: The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations. Principle 4: In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it. Principle 5: All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world. Principle 6: The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be given special priority. International actions in the field of environment and development should also address the interests and needs of all countries. Principle 7: States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command. Principle 8: To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies. Principle 9: States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies. Principle 10: Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided. Principle 11: States shall enact effective environmental legislation. Environmental standards, management objectives and priorities should reflect the environmental and developmental context to which they apply. Standards applied by some countries may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic and social cost to other countries, in particular developing countries. Principle 12: States should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international economic system that would lead to economic growth and sustainable development in all countries, to better address the problems of environmental degradation. Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade. Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided. Environmental measures addressing transboundary or global environmental problems should, as far as possible, be based on an international consensus. Principle 13: States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall also cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control to areas beyond their jurisdiction. Principle 14: States should effectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the relocation and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that cause severe environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human health. Principle 15: In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. Principle 16: National authorities should endeavor to promote the internalization of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment. Principle 17: Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority. Principle 18: States shall immediately notify other States of any natural disasters or other emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects on the environment of those States. Every effort shall be made by the international community to help States so afflicted. Principle 19: States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant information to potentially affected States on activities that may have a significant adverse trans-boundary environmental effect and shall consult with those States at an early stage and in good faith. Principle 20: Women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development. Principle 21: The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable development and ensure a better future for all. Principle 22: Indigenous people and their communities, and other local communities, have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development. Principle 23: The environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination and occupation shall be protected. Principle 24: Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary. Principle 25: Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and indivisible. Principle 26: States shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. Principle 27: States and people shall cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of partnership in the fulfillment of the principles embodied in this Declaration and in the further development of international law in the field of sustainable development. Adopted: Unanimously

UNCED Statement of Principles on Forest Management, Conservation, and Sustainable Development

[Text of a non-legally binding authoritative statement of principles for a global consensus on the management, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forests, adopted at UNCED, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 13, 1992.]
(a) The subject of forests is related to the entire range of environmental and development issues and opportunities, including the right to socio-economic development on a sustainable basis. (b) The guiding objective of these principles is to contribute to the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests and to provide for their multiple and complementary functions and uses. (c) Forestry issues and opportunities should be examined in a holistic and balanced manner within the overall context of environment and development, taking into consideration the multiple functions and uses of forests, including traditional uses, and the likely economic and social stress when these uses are constrained or restricted, as well as the potential for development that sustainable forest management can offer. (d) These principles reflect a first global consensus on forests. In committing themselves to the prompt implementation of these principles, countries also decide to keep them under assessment for their adequacy with regard to further international cooperation on forest issues. (e) These principles should apply to all types of forests, both natural and planted, in all geographic regions and climatic zones, including austral, boreal, subtemperate, temperate, subtropical and tropical. (f) All types of forests embody complex and unique ecological processes which are the basis for their present and potential capacity to provide resources to satisfy human needs as well as environmental values, and as such their sound management and conservation is of concern to the Governments of the countries to which they belong and are of value to local communities and to the environment as a whole. (g) Forests are essential to economic development and the maintenance of all forms of life. (h) Recognizing that the responsibility for forest management, conservation and sustainable development is in many States allocated among federal/national, state/provincial and local levels of government, each State, in accordance with its constitution and/or national legislation, should pursue these principles at the appropriate level of government.
1. (a) " States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies and have the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction". (b) The agreed full incremental cost of achieving benefits associated with forest conservation and sustainable development requires increased international cooperation and should be equitably shared by the international community. 2. (a) States have the sovereign and inalienable right to utilize, manage and develop their forests in accordance with their development needs and level of socio-economic development and on the basis of national policies consistent with sustainable development and legislation, including the conversion of such areas for other uses within the overall socio-economic development plan and based on rational land-use policies. (b) Forest resources and forest lands should be sustainably managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual human needs of present and future generations. These needs are for forest products and services, such as wood and wood products, water, food, fodder, medicine, fuel, shelter, employment, recreation, habitats for wildlife, landscape diversity, carbon sinks and reservoirs, and for other forest products. Appropriate measures should be taken to protect forests against harmful effects of pollution, including air-born pollution, fires, pests and diseases in order to maintain their full multiple value. (c) The provision of timely, reliable and accurate information on forests and forest ecosystems is essential for public understanding and informed decision-making and should be ensured. (d) Governments should promote and provide opportunities for the participation of interested parties, including local communities and indigenous people, industries, labour, non-governmental organizations and individuals, forest dwellers and women, in the development, implementation and planning of national forest policies. 3. (a) National policies and strategies should provide a framework for increased efforts, including the development and strengthening of institutions and programmes for the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests and forest lands. (b) International institutional arrangements, building on those organizations and mechanisms already in existence, as appropriate, should facilitate international cooperation in the field of forests. (c) All aspects of environmental protection and social and economic development as they relate to forests and forest lands should be integrated and comprehensive. 4. The vital role of all types of forests in maintaining the ecological processes and balance at the local, national, regional and global levels through, inter alia, their role in protecting fragile ecosystems, watersheds and freshwater resources and as rich storehouses of biodiversity and biological resources and sources of genetic material for biotechnology products, as well as photosynthesis, should be recognized. 5. (a) National forest policies should recognize and duly support the identity, culture and the rights of indigenous people, their communities and other communities and forest dwellers. Appropriate conditions should be promoted for these groups to enable them to have an economic stake in forest use, perform economic activities, and achieve and maintain cultural identity and social organization, as well as adequate levels of livelihood and well-being, through, inter alia, those land tenure arrangements which serve as incentives for the sustainable management of forests. (b) The full participation of women in all aspects of the management, conservation and sustainable development of forests should be actively promoted. 6. (a) All types of forests play an important role in meeting energy requirements through the provision of a renewable source of bio- energy, particularly in developing countries, and the demands for fuelwood for household and industrial needs should be met through sustainable forest management, afforestation and reforestation. To this end, the potential contribution of plantations of both indigenous and introduced species for the provision of both fuel and industrial wood should be recognized. (b) National policies and programmes should take into account the relationship, where it exists, between the conservation, management and sustainable development of forests and all aspects related to the production, consumption, recycling and/or final disposal of forest products. (c) Decisions taken on the management, conservation and sustainable development of forest resources should benefit, to the extent practicable, from a comprehensive assessment of economic and non-economic values of forest goods and services and of the environmental costs and benefits. The development and improvement of methodologies for such evaluations should be promoted. (d) The role of planted forests and permanent agricultural crops as sustainable and environmentally sound sources of renewable energy and industrial raw material should be recognized, enhanced and promoted. Their contribution to the maintenance of ecological processes, to offsetting pressure on primary/old-growth forest and to providing regional employment and development with the adequate involvement of local inhabitants should be recognized and enhanced. (e) Natural forests also constitute a source of goods and services, and their conservation, sustainable management and use should be promoted. 7. (a) Efforts should be made to promote a supportive international economic climate conducive to sustained and environmentally sound development of forests in all countries, which include, inter alia, the promotion of sustainable patterns of production and consumption, the eradication of poverty and the promotion of food security. (b) Specific financial resources should be provided to developing countries with significant forest areas which establish programmes for the conservation of forests including protected natural forest areas. These resources should be directed notably to economic sectors which would stimulate economic and social substitution activities. 8. (a) Efforts should be undertaken towards the greening of the world. All countries, notably developed countries, should take positive and transparent action towards reforestation, afforestation and forest conservation, as appropriate. (b) Efforts to maintain and increase forest cover and forest productivity should be undertaken in ecologically, economically and socially sound ways through the rehabilitation, reforestation and re- establishment of trees and forests on unproductive, degraded and deforested lands, as well as through the management of existing forest resources. (c) The implementation of national policies and programmes aimed at forest management, conservation and sustainable development, particularly in developing countries, should be supported by international financial and technical cooperation, including through the private sector, where appropriate. (d) Sustainable forest management and use should be carried out in accordance with national development policies and priorities and on the basis of environmentally sound national guidelines. In the formulation of such guidelines, account should be taken, as appropriate and if applicable, of relevant internationally agreed methodologies and criteria. (e) Forest management should be integrated with management of adjacent areas so as to maintain ecological balance and sustainable productivity. (f) National policies and/or legislation aimed at management, conservation and sustainable development of forests should include the protection of ecologically viable representative or unique examples of forests, including primary/old-growth forests, cultural, spiritual, historical, religious and other unique and valued forests of national importance. (g) Access to biological resources, including genetic material, shall be with due regard to the sovereign rights of the countries where the forests are located and to the sharing on mutually agreed terms of technology and profits from biotechnology products that are derived from these resources. (h) National policies should ensure that environmental impact assessments should be carried out where actions are likely to have significant adverse impacts on important forest resources, and where such actions are subject to a decision of a competent national authority. 9. (a) The efforts of developing countries to strengthen the management, conservation and sustainable development of their forest resources should be supported by the international community, taking into account the importance of redressing external indebtedness, particularly where aggravated by the net transfer of resources to developed countries, as well as the problem of achieving at least the replacement value of forests through improved marketing access for forest products, especially processed products. In this respect, special attention should also be given to the countries undergoing the process of transition to market economies. (b) the problems that hinder efforts to attain the conservation and sustainable use of forest resources and that stem from the lack of alternative options available to local communities, in particular the urban poor and poor rural populations who are economically and socially dependent on forests and forest resources, should be addressed by Governments and the international community. (c) National policy formulation with respect to all types of forests should take account of the pressures and demands imposed on forest ecosystems and resources from influencing factors outside the forest sector, and intersectoral means of dealing with these pressures and demands should be sought. 10. New and additional financial resources should be provided to developing countries to enable them to sustainably manage, conserve and develop their forest resources, including through afforestation, reforestation and combating deforestation and forest and land degradation. 11. In order to enable, in particular, developing countries to enhance their endogenous capacity and to better manage, conserve and develop their forest resources, the access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies and corresponding know-how on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, in accordance with the relevant provisions of Agenda 21, should be promoted, facilitated and financed, as appropriate. 12. (a) Scientific research, forest inventories and assessments carried out by national institutions which take into account, where relevant, biological, physical, social and economic variables, as well as technological development and its application in the field of sustainable forest management, conservation and development, should be strengthened through effective modalities, including international cooperation. In this context, attention should also be given to research and development of sustainably harvested non- wood products. (b) National and, where appropriate, regional and international institutional capabilities in education, training, science, and technology, economics, anthropology and social aspects of forests and forest management are essential to the conservation and sustainable development of forests and should be strengthened. (c) International exchange of information on the results of forest and forest management research and development should be enhanced and broadened, as appropriate, making full use of education and training institutions, including those in the private sector. (d) Appropriate indigenous capacity and local knowledge regarding the conservation and sustainable development of forests should, through institutional and financial support, and in collaboration with the people in local communities concerned, be recognized, respected, recorded, developed and, as appropriate, introduced in the implementation of programmes. Benefits arising from the utilization of indigenous knowledge should therefore be equitably shared with such people. 13. (a) Trade in forest products should be based on non- discriminatory and multilaterally agreed rules and procedures consistent with international trade law and practices. In this context, open and free international trade in forest products should be facilitated. (b) Reduction or removal of tariff barriers and impediments to the provision of better market access and better prices for higher value-added forest products and their local processing should be encouraged to enable producer countries to better conserve and manage their renewable forest resources. (c) Incorporation of environmental costs and benefits into market forces and mechanisms, in order to achieve forest conservation and sustainable development, should be encouraged both domestically and internationally. (d) Forest conservation and sustainable development policies should be integrated with economic, trade and other relevant policies. (e) Fiscal, trade, industrial, transportation and other policies and practices that may lead to forest degradation should be avoided. Adequate policies, aimed at management, conservation and sustainable development of forests, including where appropriate, incentives, should be encouraged. 14. Unilateral measures, incompatible with international obligations or agreements, to restrict and/or ban international trade in timber or other forest products should be removed or avoided, in order to attain long-term sustainable forest management. 15. Pollutants, particularly air-borne pollutants, including those responsible for acidic deposition, that are harmful to the health of forest ecosystems at the local, national, regional and global levels should be controlled.

Michael Young, William Reilly: US Delegation Press Briefings

June 8, 1992
[Excerpts from a briefing by Michael Young, the Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Affairs and alternate head of the US delegation to UNCED.] Q. The United States has been taking a lot of hammering at this meeting. What can be done, what is being done between now and when the President arrives to improve the perception of the United States and its position here? A. Well, improving perceptions is always difficult because we have a little trouble persuading all of you to read the substance of the conventions and so forth, so we're going to pass out copies of all these documents and encourage you to engage on the substance with us . . . I also think that, in fact, many of the issues that have been so contentious are being better understood and are coming to resolutions. I think as that happens the constructive US role in environmental protection becomes clearer and clearer, and we hope that that will turn things some. . . . Q. There's some language in the latest draft that seems to involve a concession to the United States in terms, once again, of levels of commitment and timetables. Is there any sense in the course of those negotiations of a tit-for-tat, for a concession on that versus some chance of once again reviving acceptable language on biodiversity? A. No. Q. We've heard from India this morning that the forest principle document is basically worthless--should not be signed, that there's no point to it any longer, and that any actions by the United States have been too little, too late. Could you please respond on that . . . . A. . . . in point of fact, the United States has been the strongest proponent of strong forest principles in addition to hoping that this conference would be in a position to be able to make a call for a convention on forest protection. The President says that the Houston summit [of the G-7 industrialized nations] has articulated very strong views on protection of forests. We have articulated-- through[out] this conference and in the preparation conferences leading up to it--the need for protection of forests, in part, for the purposes of preservation of the diversity of species . . . and I will confess we have been disappointed. The notion that the United States has come forward with too little too late has got the story backward. In fact, a number of other countries have resisted our call for very strong forest principles. Indeed . . . when one looks at the biodiversity convention, part of the problem [is] that it talks about a whole lot of things except protection of oceans and forests and places where you actually find the diversity of species. So we wish that forest principles would be stronger. We are disappointed that there isn't a strong enough environmental commitment to make those better, but we will certainly push that process as hard as we can to get as strong a commitment on forests as we can. Q. Back to biodiversity. There's a situation in Costa Rica, I understand, where a pharmaceutical company has done a deal in terms of purchasing genetic resources. Is that kind of an example of something the United States supports, if so, or even if not, how does it differ with the text of the treaty? A. . . . The United States warmly supports that because we do think that countries need to be rewarded for the resources that they make available to help improve the quality of life here in the world. At the same time, the operative element of that deal is that it was an agreement between the country and the private company that was seeking to secure the resources out of the Costa Rican forest. The problem with the biodiversity convention is that it would intrude the government into that as a sort of mandatory regulatory process, and I think a big part of the problem with biotechnology is that if it is an industry that is over-regulated . . . the very industry that may be responsible for making dramatic improvements in the quality of life throughout the world--in the eradication of poverty, in the improvement of the environment, and so forth get stifled. And if that happens, one of our best chances for genuine improvements in the quality of life--for genuine improvements in ecological developments--gets destroyed. . . . Q. President Bush has made a connection between our signing of the biological diversity treaty and [the] loss of jobs. That connection has been greeted with great skepticism in many quarters, including among members of Congress and in private conversations with some people who have been involved in the negotiation of the treaty. Could you please explicate for us how the signing of the biodiversity treaty would lead to a loss of jobs in the United States? A. . . . I will encourage you to ask the President that question. . . . [Secondly] a lot of it has to do with the sort of the thrust of that convention, which . . . suggests that there ought to be some high level of international regulation of the biotechnology industry, which is, at least, if history is any guide, not something likely to lead to the creation of jobs . . . . I would also step back and reiterate my point that it isn't just a question of whether that is a viable industry and there are fewer or more scientists being employed in it . . . but it's the very need to create dynamic, vibrant intellectual communities that are doing that kind of work in order to produce technology that really can have the kind of improving effect that we would hope for. I think that's really the essence of the problem. Jobs may or may not be a by- product of that. . . . Q. There have been reports that the US Government has been putting pressure on the Governments of Austria, Switzerland, and The Netherlands not to put together an agreement outside the climate convention that would commit them and perhaps some other European nations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2000 at 1990 levels. Essentially an attempt to put some extra pressure on those countries who are against these limits. Is this true? Has the US Government been putting pressure on them not to sign this agreement among themselves? A. No, the US Government never puts pressure on anybody. . . . However, our position with respect to that effort has been clear. We continue to think that the notion of setting targets and timetables really does put the cart before the horse. . . . There is a fundamental need to determine specific and precise actions that people are going to take to improve the quality of the air and CO2 emissions. The United States has and continues to have among the world's strongest clean air acts. As, indeed, the UK environmental minister said, the United States is worlds ahead of all the other countries in terms of preparing very specific national strategies for dealing with the reduction of CO2 emissions, and he hoped other countries would follow suit, indeed, as we do as well. I think at the moment, the United States and The Netherlands may be the only two countries that have that, so we continue to think that is an ill-conceived venture and have not hesitated to say so to our allies and to the press and everyone as well, and we have continued to say that. . . .
June 9, 1992
[Excerpts from a briefing by Michael Young.] Q. Great Britain is just announcing now that it is going to sign the biodiversity convention. Your last ally has disappeared. Do you now admit that the American strategy for the first week of the conference lies in ruins? A. We, somehow, don't think of Britain as having disappeared [as an ally] because of signing the biodiversity convention. No. No, in fact, we still feel rather strongly about the need to do something actually useful for biodiversity rather than signing the biodiversity convention. We hope countries will set aside the rhetoric at some point and actually join in commitments to do strong things about oceans--which they seem prepared to do--and also strong things with respect to forests, with respect to which there is, at the moment, less agreement. We would actually like to see some concrete actions. However much we enjoyed the rhetoric, we would like to see some agreements to concrete action, and that principle remains in tact. . . . Q. Today, the Danish environmental minister [said] that the US delegation now agreed with the EEC [European Economic Community] countries on the climate convention, that the convention commits the United States to reduce the level of carbon dioxide emission at the end of the century at the rate of 1990. Can you confirm that? A. Well, I can simply cite the language of the convention. We do aim to reduce it, as we always have, and that continues to be an aim. . . . What the convention does that we think is particularly productive is remove the focus a bit from the question of what the end-game is and start asking people what very specific steps they intend to take to reach whatever goals that they think are specified in the convention. It is that process that is particularly important, and a process upon which we want to keep the focus, because that is, in fact, the delineation of the concrete steps countries will actually take. We have countries beginning to identify what steps they'll take, but nobody is very far along except the United States and The Netherlands, at the moment. We hope that process of delineating very concrete actions, as opposed to engaging in interesting but somewhat rhetorical debates, will increase. Q. Can you be a little bit more specific--what other problems does the United States have with the Rio Declaration? A. [T]he problem is, in part, related to determining precisely what the meaning is. The right to develop is one problem. There is an article that suggests liability or responsibility for environmental damage may rest entirely with the developed countries, which is neither accurate nor a terribly productive way to focus on solving the problem. . . . Q. Given that America is increasingly isolated . . . on the question of biodiversity, do you take seriously remarks from delegations from resource-rich countries . . . that those countries which do not sign up to the biodiversity convention once it's ratified stand the risk of losing out, in that their companies will lose access to the resource- rich territories that you so clearly see as important to your trade? A. No. I think that's even as problematic as certain provisions of the biodiversity convention are. I think that's not a necessary or-- my guess would be--even likely result unless the countries decide it simply as a punitive matter not to allow American companies in because we hadn't signed, which would create problems of unilateral trade actions to change one's domestic behavior. Indeed, the things called for as a substantive matter in the biodiversity convention are things well short of what the United States is already doing, so in terms of changing US behavior by threatening trade sanctions, it would be a slightly odd response. . . . There is in the regulatory regime, such as it is set up in the biodiversity convention, nothing that would fairly preclude a company from continuing to negotiate with the country or with the private owners of land in that country, if that were the case, so it's a little hard to see on what basis that kind of an assertion is made. . . . Q. On the forestry principles, could you be specific about the sticking points that are important to the United States, and how you hope to see those resolved. . . . A. . . . There are two or three principles that we feel quite strongly about. One is the determination of appropriate use of the forest; determination of ways in which one might balance off the use of the forest with the preservation of the forest and all the good and necessary things that the forests do. So far, the principal sticking point, I think, has been our sense of the general reluctance of countries, some countries in any event, to commit to taking serious concrete steps to deal with those problems. . . . Again, on the other side, there is the attempt by some countries to put in lots of requirements for lots of money before anybody does anything. Again, raising the question of both balance and logic, in terms of trying to make the money available before we know what we are going to do with it, that is something that we have resisted throughout the conference.
June 10, 1992
[Excerpts from a briefing by Michael Young.] Q. Can you say something about where we are on new and additional resources? There are indications that both Japan and the European Community are considering significant, if not substantial, amounts of new and additional resources. Where does that leave you? A. Well, we have already announced in a whole variety of areas, even in the last few months . . . new and additional resources dealing with a range of environmental problems, international environmental problems, of a quarter of a billion dollars. . . . We would warmly welcome--indeed, in a call for a forest initiative our President hoped that other countries would also commit additional resources to it--we would warmly applaud commitments from other countries for new and additional resources, as we have offered some ourselves. Q. . . . Are you prepared to be a little more specific on what is considered, at this point, an acceptable solution on [the] finance issue for the United States? A. The over-arching thrust all along of our approach has been that we feel quite strongly that the financial resources chapter [of Agenda 21] has to reflect a series of basic premises on which we thought we were operating. Number one: that we figure out what money is going to be used for, before we create huge pots of money. I mean this is--and I'm surprised I haven't really seen this remarked on much yet in the press--this conference is little bit reminiscent of development conference in the 1960s, where the major issue was, or at least the dialogue went something like this: Please put a huge pot of money there, and we will figure out how to spend that money and send you a little postcard telling you how we spent it. And we said, that's a little tough to sell to our people. Moreover, it's not clear that that is a very productive way to actually create infusions of capital that do genuine good in a country. We resisted that all through the 1960s and the early 1970s as a sort of a dialogic framework within which we were willing to operate. We were isolated then as we are now, to some extent. But I must say, from my perspective it is not a bad position to be isolated in. We were right then. . . . The economic ministers throughout much of the world have discovered that and taken that on board. I think we are facing, at least, some of the same debate here--the attempt to try and create a huge pool of money and then sort of tell everybody later on how it is going to be spent. We want to see some specific ideas of what needs to be done and what the priorities are for accomplishing that. Secondly, we are concerned that there will be some intelligent analysis of how one generates and maximizes the resources available. There is, at the end of the day, going to be a limit on the amount that developed countries give, however generous the United States and Germany and Japan and other countries are. The vast bulk of the money in the world is in private hands, and it's critical that we find ways to get that to create climates, economic climates-- not to be confused, I suppose, with global climates--into which that money will come for environmentally sound and sustainable development purposes. . . . When we figure out how to mobilize the most resources, then we can start talking about what will be the tail of the dog instead of the dog. That is, resources that come from the international community as a matter of overseas development assistance. . . . Q. . . . Why is it that the United States is unable to support any kind of reference to over-consumption in developed nations so that it is possible that resources will be better distributed . . . in the Rio Declaration or in any kind of earth charter? A. That's a very good question. . . . In fact, there are a number of references to consumption patterns. The United State has no trouble with that at all. We have been willing to accept a number of formulations with respect to consumption patterns. So I think the premise of your question is inaccurate. However, let me go and step back, if I may, and sort of tell you a little of the US position. . . . Our objection has been really more to references that governments ought to control lifestyles, in part because--and I think this is an important point to keep in mind-- underlying these words, underlying the rhetoric is often a real conflict of some very fundamental values. I think we lose sight of that sometimes as the lawyers get involved in tremendous debates over where a comma is situated. In fact, underlying that debate . . . is a very fundamental policy debate on which I think there are some differences that we don't particularly want to paper over. . . . We think that countries should work very diligently to structure consumption patterns in a way that allows sustainable development. On the other hand, we don't generally think that history has shown it to be productive for governments to intervene directly in lifestyles on a personal basis, and there is a very fundamental difference in terms of how one regulates one's country. . . . History has shown [that approach is] not productive. Indeed, it's not shown it to be environmentally sound, as much of the last 45 years of East European history suggests as well. At the same time, we also think that the answer is not to stop economic growth. We have not been pressing the developing world to put a cap on their economic growth . . . because, again, that is not the best way to resolve environmental problems. Shifting consumption patterns to ways that allow sustainable development and use of only those renewable world resources is something that we applaud and have been working toward. Regu-lation in the more minute levels of how people live, however, has not been shown to be helpful. Q. . . . What will happen after Rio. . . . Is it your committee that moves with that, is it those of us from the press, and how does that happen after Rio? What is the mechanism in place? A. That's a good question. The thrust of the question, "Is it the press, it is the UN, is it the international community, is it the transnational business that moves this on?" And the answer is yes. It is all of those. I think one can anticipate this having an impact on two or three different levels. Number one, there are some institutional arrangements that have been set up. The sustainable development commission will work in conjunction with ECOSOC [UN Economic and Social Committee] and the UN to keep attention focused on follow-up and monitoring of the progress with respect to the commitments, as well as with respect to the flows of resources and monies available to live up to those commitments. I think that's a very helpful development. More importantly, I think, this conference has focused the attention of the world on addressing what is really a fundamental issue of how we allow countries to improve their lives, lives of the people in those countries, and, at the same time, doing it in a way that is consistent with us continuing to live on this planet. I think we will see--because it is an issue that has gotten tremendous international attention--lots of people in lots of governments, as well as lots of people in lots of corporations turning their attention to this matter, and there are opportunities for lots of mutual interaction. I mean, let me give you one suggestion. We have in the United States, as our head of delegation has recently discussed, an increasing pattern of encouragement of companies from the United States to adhere to US environmental standards as they go abroad and set up shop in order to show that US environmental standards are compatible with being competitive and productive. . . . And, moreover, to show that our reasons for sitting in other countries are not to take advantage of some weaker environmental laws but to take advantage of the proximity to natural resources and other sorts of advantages that inure when you site your plants somewhere else. Those kinds of partnerships at the voluntary level, as well as lots of things that I think we will do in terms of strengthening the international codes . . . will be helpful. I think this is a step in a process, and I do hope that the international press and domestic press play a big role in that--although I hope it's slightly more issue-oriented than your role has been in this conference--but I really do think that can be extremely helpful, and [I] anticipate that that will come. There may also be some call for some specific conventions which may also flow out of this as well. . . . Q. I just wanted to ask about the attitude or the real attitude of the US Government toward the summit. Down here your delegation has been very constructive, very mild, has praised its interlocutors, and had good words to say for everything and everybody. But, meanwhile, in Washington, senior Administration officials are talking with reporters not for attribution [and] are calling the proceedings here a circus. What I wanted to know is whether this is a deliberate two- track policy that the United States is pursuing vis-a-vis this conference, whether there is a logic behind the two approaches? Which of the two approaches does represent the real US position toward this conference? A. Circus is not perjorative. I mean, we mean it in the kindest possible way. . . . Certainly viewing this from afar, it is harder to see the complexity of the negotiations that have been going on, the trade-offs, the levels of satisfaction and so forth that have been achieved in a variety of areas. One might think this is somewhat more chaotic than we do. . . . But I've felt it's been, on the negotiating level, constructive with a great deal of goodwill shown on both sides. We've resolved a number of very, very difficult issues. Some we have decided together not to resolve and sort of punt for another day, but I stand by my characterization of what we've done.
June 11, 1992
[Excerpts from a briefing by William Reilly, head of the US delegation to UNCED.] Good afternoon. We are moving into the final phase of this conference. It's time to begin to focus on follow-up, on action, on implementation of the kinds of commitments that we have made here, many of which, I think, will prove to be historic. I want to take a very short period of time this morning . . . to make two announcements. The first is that we are pleased to announce, today, a series of activities to facilitate prompt start of the climate change convention. It continues to be my belief that the climate change treaty is a vital first step and a promising instrument in addressing this global environmental threat, and the sooner we realize its implementation, the better off we all will be. Therefore, the United States is proposing a six point plan: First: Sign the climate convention in Rio, which President Bush will do during his visit. Second: Submit it as soon as possible for ratification by the Senate. We have already [had] conversations with Senator Pell, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on that subject. Third: Commit to strict, early monitoring of emissions of carbon dioxide from electrical generating facilities. These now constitute more than a third of US CO2 emissions and monitoring is going to be a strict necessity to follow our progress in the United States as in other countries in implementing the treaty. Fourth: Complete a detailed national action plan by January 1, 1992. Fifth: Maintain a large budget commitment for scientific research. President Bush has proposed $1.4 bil-lion in scientific research and monitoring relative to climate change for the coming fiscal year. That is the largest commitment by far of any country. We will continue to maintain that priority, and we will make that scientific data and research available at the earliest possible moment to all other countries. Sixth: The United States will provide $25 million over 2 years toward developing countries to inventory their emissions and to carry out energy demonstration projects. This will constitute a quarter of the amount of money--$100 million--that we estimate is going to be necessary over this period for developing countries to get a clear . . . understanding of what emissions they now are responsible for with respect to carbon dioxide, methane, the burning of forests, and other sources of greenhouse gases. . . . We encourage and expect that other countries will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the fastest and most comprehensive implementation possible of the climate change convention. It is one of the real achievements of the earth summit and implementing it promptly is a high priority for the United States. One of the long-term needs in the field of biological diversity conservation has been a system of data collection and classification. We want to promote worldwide the conduct of biological surveys to assess the significance of species, the characteristics of flora and fauna, their relationships with their habitat and to ensure that this data is not only collected but that it is developed on a comparable and systematic basis throughout the world. This has been done more or less successfully in some countries, most notably, Costa Rica. Where it has been done, it provides a foundation for conservation and also for development that is very much to be desired. Therefore, the United States proposed a plan to encourage immediate efforts in the design and implementation of much-needed research on biological diversity. We call for the formation of a group of experts to promote international information exchange and evaluate and recommend methodologies for use in national efforts to survey inventory and manage biological diversity. We expect to host a meeting of these experts some time later in the year. We are taking the approach of offering some of our thoughts as a discussion draft here at this conference because we have the world assembled here. Each government will be able to take back the discussion draft, consider the merits of our proposal, and, over the months ahead, consult with us about the degree to which it fits their needs and to which they wish to help us design a system for data collection, the conduct of surveys, and the sharing of scientific information. We expect that this will be a tentative draft and that it will undergo significant changes as it is reviewed by other governments. Releasing it at this time, we have no expectation that it will receive any kind of detailed scrutiny here at this meeting, but we do expect it should be a constructive contribution to thinking about this problem in the months ahead. With that said, let me simply say finally that we enter the field of action now, we enter the field of commitments, a period that will test whether the promise of this conference will, in fact, be realized. The United States is good at keeping its commitments. We have a good history of strong action, vigorous action to protect the environment. We will continue to pursue the course that we have set which has, I think, achieved unprecedented environmental results. We want to make those results, to the extent they are useful, available to the rest of the world. That is what this initiative is about. Much of the rest of our experience, we are pleased to see, has been, I think, of influence in the Agenda 21 document and in some of the other agreements that we are close to realizing now, and this is designed to further the effort begun here in Rio to make sure that this conference is not the end of the process but is very much a new beginning. . . . Q. You said that the United States is good at keeping its commitments. What exactly are you committed to concerning CO2 stabilization in the year 2000? A. We are committed to implementing the treaty which is going to require a number of measures which I have just described: careful inventory of emissions, action plans, an effort to understand the options that we may have for reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases. We are committed to the Clean Air Act, which will make significant reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases like methane. We are also committed to the National Energy Strategy, something we expect to be enacted into law within the relative near future--I think within the next few weeks, at least we hope. And we are committed to a range of new initiatives involving the planting of a billion trees a year, the implementation of new lighting technology commitments which are lowering by about 60% electrical needs for lighting and [for] which we now have 2 billion square feet of office space under agreement. All of these are going to make an appreciable difference, and I think are going to bring down the emissions of the greenhouse gases in the United States in the near term. . . . Q. When history has been written, how do you think the world will view the role of the United States? A. I think that a number of people brought very large expectations to this conference and, in some ways, unrealistic expectations, unrealistic of the conference itself, which some expected would be a pledging conference. We had a number of governments object to the expectations that that created--unrealistic expectations also of the United States. We have been and will continue to be generous supporters of conservation throughout the world. We are not in a position to increase that support by orders of magnitude. We are increasing it by 50% here, and that is very significant. I think when you look back upon this conference, and you see it in context, what you are seeing is other countries with enormous economic capability beginning to acknowledge commensurate environmental responsibilities. That is something that is going to benefit the world, it's going to benefit the environment, and it's something that we have long encouraged and desired. We welcome that sharing of leadership. This is no longer a uni-polar world. . . . Q. The conference isn't over yet, but at this point, is it a success or failure? A. You know, I was here 90 days ago and talked with members of the Brazilian Government then about their expectations for the conference, and I had the sense that it was, perhaps, useful to lower expectations a little bit. In fact, I got the impression from them that their expectations were then somewhat lower than mine. We are going to get a good and effective Agenda 21 to which the world present here will subscribe. We have a climate treaty in hand, a first and very important step in addressing that fundamentally significant problem. We are working now on a statement of forest principles that I believe and hope will be the first step toward eventually recognizing the need for a convention on worldwide forests which is a major objective of President Bush now, since the summer of 1990 when he first announced it in Houston. All of these and the many specific elements contained in Agenda 21, which validate community right-to-know, which focus a new priority on the oceans, and which will be followed up, fairly soon, by a conference on the effects of land-based sources of pollution--any number of those are very worthwhile, are important. A few of them would have made this conference, I think, a success. All of them together, I think, give us a good deal of hope and confidence that this conference will more than realize the expectations of those who came to it with a realistic sense of what things of this sort can achieve.
June 12, 1992
[Excerpts from a briefing by William Reilly.] Q. . . . How did the United States ever come to find itself so isolated at this conference. . . . A. Well, you know this conference, I think, unfolded with some very large expectations. The ones that no one could ever have met had to do with the funding. The conference was never conceived by Brazil or by us or really by most of the developed countries as one in which there would be major transfers of resources, new funding commitments from the developed to the developing countries. The United States is increasing its financial assistance quite a lot, but compared to the number that Maurice Strong [Secretary General of UNCED] used of $125 billion of money that's needed, obviously, neither we nor anyone else is in position to accommodate that. I think there was some concern . . . to try to raise the amount of foreign assistance from its current levels to a commitment of 0.7% of GDP. We're just not in the position to make a commitment anything like that, and I think that's of concern to some of these countries. In terms of the achievements on the environment of the nations represented here, I think you would get pretty widespread acknowledgment that no one has done more than the United States. The President cited some of those--66% reduction in particulates in cities; 97% reduction in lead in gasoline, when the Europeans haven't completed phasing out lead in gasoline yet. We started in 1974--a reduction in carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxides of more than a third; huge additions to our national park systems and wilderness system over that time. I think it's generally acknowledged that that is a leadership record. And even the NGOs (non-governmental organizations), who have been critical of us, I doubt very much could point to another country in which they could cite stronger laws or better protection or more public access to decision-making on these issues than the United States. . . . Q. Can you define biodiversity, please? A. . . . Biodiversity refers to the variety of plant and animal life that sustains the earth, in which each species has a particular niche, very often interdependent with others; all of it making for a richness certainly of genetic life that make the planet both productive and fruitful and also a lot more interesting and beautiful. Q. . . . Why did certain groups want us to sign a treaty endorsing that? A. There is a crisis certainly in the world today of loss of biological diversity related to the destruction particularly of the tropical forest. Some 42 million acres a year that are estimated to be lost with a large number of species, of plants and animals, many of which are lost before they are even discovered and have names. This is a tragedy for the planet. It's a loss of potentially useful products that often serve as the basis for pharmaceuticals and medicines and cures. And it's one that we want to get out in the biological surveys the President has proposed. We put on the table yesterday a program to conduct inventories across the world, in concert with other countries. And they're going to have to review this proposal and decide whether it makes sense for them, and we will adjust it accordingly. But the reason for that is to provide the basis for knowing what we have and what we may be losing on biodiversity and to give us some sense of priorities for action. Q. The President said the United States will meet or exceed the requirements of the biodiversity treaty. Does that mean the United States will contribute to the funding mechanism within that treaty? A. Yes, it does. . . . Q. Even though we will have no role in the disbursal? A. That is correct. The funding mechanism for the biological diversity convention is the Global Environment Facility. We have made a commitment to the core fund of that facility. We obviously have some influence over how those monies are disbursed, but we will be in the funding mix, irrespective of the fact that we will not be a treaty signatory. Q. And will we also in some way require our industry to share its patents, its intellectual property? A. We will not under any circumstances require that our industry share its patents or make available its technology on concessional terms. That is what we considered objectionable in the treaty, among other things. . . . Q. The President said that [the US is going to increase international environmental aid by 66%. Is this new money, money that's already in the pipeline? Where does the money come from and where does it go? A. The amount of funding that the United States gave last year to the environment was just about, a little in excess, I think, of $500 million. We have proposed, in connection with this conference, to increase that by about half to about $250 million [more]. The principal component of that funding is the $150 million that we proposed for bilateral forest conservation projects. We also proposed monies--$25 million for studies and demonstration projects and inventories of greenhouse gasses in the developing countries. That's about a quarter of what we estimate is necessary over 2 years --$100 million is the money that is going to be required from all countries, all sources on that, and we'll provide $25 million. And we committed $50 million to the core fund of the Global Environment Facility. There's some additional aid as well. Q. This is new money not spent before? A. The $250 million is new money, yes sir.

Fact Sheet: Agenda 21

[introduction] Agenda 21, the premier agreement of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, proposes a vision of the future and charts a course for worldwide sustainable development. Each of the 40 chapters presents a specific program area that provide a common blueprint for environment and development issues. It includes recommendations on: -- Conserving and managing resources; -- Protecting the atmosphere, the oceans, and the quality of freshwater resources; -- Combating deforestation, desertification, and drought; -- Promoting sustainable rural development; -- Conserving biological diversity; and -- Ensuring the environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes. Through Agenda 21, UNCED has given the international community new terms of reference to guide the world into the 21st century. Because conference delegates emphasized sustainable development, Agenda 21 also addresses social and economic issues and considers the special needs of developing countries in balancing conservation and the needs of human beings. Highlights of the document include proposals on oceans, technology cooperation, institutional reform, and finance.
The US Government was the architect of many of the Agenda 21 proposals on oceans. The US goal was to continue to build upon the groundwork laid in the 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention. Agenda 21 includes comprehensive strategies on marine pollution, conservation and management of marine living resources, global ocean monitoring, and integrated coastal zone management. The chapter includes proposals for an international conference to discuss two key issues--improving international cooperation in controlling land-based sources of marine pollution and promoting effective implementation of existing law on migratory fish stocks. In the ocean proposals, the United States successfully promoted the use of economic incentives as a way to limit industrial and agricultural practices that pollute the marine environment.
Technology Cooperation
Recognizing the role that new and efficient technologies will play in the next century, Agenda 21 adopted a broad cooperative framework to support the development and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies. This includes an emphasis on information networks and technology assessment, as well as support for business arrangements and partnerships. Indeed, Agenda 21 incorporated US ideas which stressed the vital role of the private sector in technology development and the importance of protecting intellectual property rights.
Institutional Reform
Underlying Agenda 21's proposal on institutions is the US belief that environment and development must be integrated in order to achieve sustainable development and that this should be a guiding principle of UN economic and social activities. As President Bush told the conference, although the road to Rio was important, "what matters more is the road from Rio." Through Agenda 21, UNCED recommended to the UN General Assembly that a high-level Commission on Sustainable Development be created under the Economic and Social Council to implement UNCED recommendations. These proposals reflect a strong international belief that interagency coordination in the UN system must be strengthened. Organizational details will be decided this fall by the 47th session of the UN General Assembly. The commission will hold its first meeting by 1993.
Finance and Other Proposals
The proposals in Agenda 21 reflect a balanced approach toward finance and emphasize the need for developing countries to rely primarily on their own internal resources, while receiving supplemental assistance from the international community. In its approach toward finance, the United States stressed the importance of favorable domestic economic conditions, the role of the private sector and the need for innovative methods, such as debt-for-nature swaps. The United States also supports the use of the restructured Global Environment Facility as the primary funding mechanism for programs in developing countries with worldwide benefits. While Agenda 21 addressed dozens of issues, conference delegates gave special importance to a plea from developing countries to ask the General Assembly to establish an intergovernmental committee to negotiate an international convention to combat desertification, especially in Africa, by June 1994. Agenda 21 also includes, within its chapter on protection of the atmosphere, recommendations on energy efficiency and consumption, transportation, industrial development and the prevention of stratospheric ozone depletion and transboundary atmospheric pollution. US proposals on hazardous wastes and toxic chemicals are also reflected in Agenda 21's emphasis on community right-to-know programs and the development of national databases on toxic release inventories that can, one day, be linked to an international database.

Fact Sheet: US Actions for a Better Environment--A Sustained Commitment

[Following is the executive summary from US Actions for a Better Environment: A Sustained Commitment, which was distributed at the UNCED conference. To receive a copy, contact the Executive Office of the President, Publications, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC, 20503, tel: 202-395-7332.]
A Tradition of Leadership
The United States has long been the world's leader in environmental protection, with the world's most comprehensive and advanced programs for controlling pollution, protecting valuable public lands, and enforcing environmental laws. That tradition of leadership is more than a century old: America's first National Park, Yellowstone--the first in the world--was established in 1872, and today, US National Parks are one of the world's premier visitor attractions. In the past 20 years, that leadership has been extended as never before. In case after case, the United States has been the first nation to recognize emerging problems and to develop solutions. Examples include:
Controlling Automobile Emissions.
In 1975, the United States began to require catalytic converters on automobiles. Many other nations are moving to adopt that requirement this year. Today, US law requires that tailpipe emissions from new cars be 96% below those from the cars of 20 years ago. And the new Clean Air Act signed by President Bush will increase that requirement to over 98% over the next few years.
Phasing Out CFCs.
In 1978, the United States unilaterally took action to phase out the use of aerosol propellants in order to reduce emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). This action has been pursued only recently by many other nations. Subsequently, the United States was a principal advocate of the Vienna Convention, the Montreal Protocol, and the London Amendments to the Montreal Protocol, which required the elimination of CFC production by the end of the century. Today, the United States is more than 42% ahead of the schedule required by the London Amendments. In February of 1992, in response to new scientific information, President Bush ordered that the United States unilaterally speed up the phase-out of CFCs, halons, methyl chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride to the end of 1995.
Clearing the Air of Lead.
In 1982, the United States began to phase out the use of leaded gasoline. Today, 99% of the cars on America's roads run on unleaded gasoline, and annual lead emissions are 96% below those of a decade ago. Although unleaded gasoline is not yet widely available in many countries, several other nations are now considering measures to reduce the use of leaded gasoline.
The Record of the Past 2 Decades
The United States has improved air and water quality and dramatically expanded its treasury of public lands over the past 2 decades. And this progress has been achieved during a period of robust economic growth. Since 1970, US real GDP had grown by 60%. Over the same period, US emissions of particulate matter have been cut by 59%, emissions of carbon monoxide have been cut by 41%, emissions of volatile organic compounds have been cut by 29%, and emissions of sulfur dioxide have been cut by 25%. Our waterways are also cleaner: discharges by plants and factories of suspended solids into US waters have been cut by over 80%. And America's public lands and wilderness areas have been protected. In 1970, the United States had 868 miles of "wild and scenic" rivers designated for protection. Today, there are 9,463 miles of "wild and scenic" rivers. In 1970, the US National Wildlife Refuge system included 29 million acres; today it includes 88.5 million acres. In 1970, there were 10 million acres in the US wilderness system; today it includes over 95 mil-lion acres.
Progress Under the Bush Administration
President Bush has extended that record of American environmental leadership on a wide range of fronts. Under the President's leadership, the US had developed and put forward a detailed plan of action to address global climate change by limiting net emissions of greenhouse gases. The President has proposed to double worldwide forest assistance, and has worked actively since the 1990 Houston for a global forest convention. As a down payment, the President has pledged a $150-million increase in forest assistance next year. The Clean Air Act proposed, negotiated, and signed into law by President Bush sets some of the most stringent controls on mobile and stationary sources of air pollution anywhere on earth. Under the act, US sulfur dioxide emissions will be cut in half and capped permanently, air toxic emissions will be cut by over 75%, and smog levels will be reduced to meet health standards in cities across the country. The President has launched the world's most ambitious reforestation program, with a goal of planting an additional 1 billion trees per year for the next decade. In the past 3 years, under the Bush Administration, the US has signed the Basel Convention to prevent the illegal international dumping of hazardous wastes and the international protocol to strengthen protection of Antarctica. US proposals at the 1989 Paris G-7 summit helped lead to an international agreement on oil spill prevention and cleanup. US efforts helped bring an end to driftnet fishing on the high seas and the importation of ivory from the African elephant. The President declared a moratorium on oil and gas drilling off many environmentally sensitive areas of America's coasts. He has secured over a million and a half new acres for America's system of national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other public lands. The President has signed bills to prevent oil spills, promote environmental education, and implement the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. And his annual budget requests have sharply increased investments in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the cleanup of facilities owned by the Federal Government to ensure that they live up to the same standards as private facilities, and for wetlands acquisition, enhancement, and research.
A Continuing Commitment
The United States today spends nearly $130 billion per year on pollution control. That represents about 2% of US GDP--a commitment of resources matched by no other nation. That investment is expected to rise. Under current policy commitments and requirements, Americans will spend more than $1.2 trillion over the course of the next decade to control pollution. The commitment of the United States will be sustained. But as the world's population grows, and as all nations work for the economic growth to which they aspire, the challenge of protecting the earth's resources for the next generation will be great. The United States will continue to adopt and to press internationally for efforts to limit air and water pollution, to protect nature's treasures of species and habitat, to develop new science and increase understanding of the earth's environment, to share technologies that promote energy efficiency and environmental protection. The United States will provide assistance to allow developing countries to enjoy a new generation of clean growth. More importantly, America will continue to lead in the quest for freedom and openness in political systems around the world. For only democratic systems provide the accountability necessary to ensure a clean environment. Only market-oriented economies can generate the resources necessary over the long term to invest in environmental protection. And only freedom allows human beings to reach their full potential.

E.U. Curtis Bohlen: Report to Congress on Rio Conference

[E.U. Curtis Bohlen, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Statement before the Subcommittee on Oceanography, Great Lakes, and the Outer Continental Shelf of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, July 21, 1992] Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to discuss the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which concluded on June 14, 1992, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Administration valued the extensive involvement of Congress in preparing for the Rio conference, including passage of separate resolutions. In Rio we had the benefit on our delegation of observer groups from both the House and the Senate. Congressional interest and support enhanced US influence while we were completing our work at UNCED. President Bush said in the opening theme of his speech to heads of state: Today, an unprecedented era of peace, freedom, and stability makes concerted action on the environment possible as never before. Indeed, the earth summit was the largest effort at international cooperation since the end of the Cold War, and countries had the opportunity to engage each other in a discussion of common problems without the cloud of East-West confrontation. Perhaps because so much was included in the UNCED agenda-- environment, development, trade, finance, market economies, public participation, democratic principles--people may have had unreasonable expectations for the ability of the conference to resolve everything. Nevertheless, the Administration believes that the Rio conference was successful because it made clear progress on virtually all issues, and because it set us on a path toward a better future from which there is no turning back. UNCED has literally given the international community new terms of reference to guide us into the 21st century. The theme of the Rio conference was for countries to integrate environment and development in order to achieve sustainable development-- development that meets the needs of people now without harming the needs of future generations. The goal of sustainable development was emphasized by the President when he said in Rio: The United States fully intends to be the world's preeminent leader in protecting the global environment. And we have been that for many years. We will remain so. And we believe that environment and development, the two subjects of this conference, can and should go hand in hand. . . . I think that recognition of that fact by leaders from around the world is the central accomplishment of this important Rio conference. The US Delegation to UNCED was headed by EPA Administrator William K. Reilly; 182 nations and 10,000 delegates attended the conference. In the final days of the conference, 118 heads of state and government participated in the summit meetings. Public participation was one of the major successes of the conference--24,000 representatives of non-governmental organizations from all over the world attended hundreds of parallel meetings of their own in Rio, including the Global Forum. People around the world were aware of the earth summit. UNCED opened the United Nations to much greater participation of individuals and non-governmental organizations throughout the preparatory committee meetings and the conference itself. The Administration hopes that the UNCED process serves as a model for preparing for future UN conferences and programs. Although the conventions on climate change and biological diversity were not negotiated within the UNCED process, they were opened for signature at Rio and were signed by more than 150 countries. President Bush signed the climate change convention for the United States and reaffirmed his commitment for a prompt start toward compliance. The United States did not sign the biological diversity convention, despite our strong support for the conservation principles that underlie it, because the convention contains unacceptable provisions on finance and biotechnology and inadequate protection of intellectual property rights. The results of UNCED, itself, were three documents: the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, a set of forest principles, and a detailed guide for action called Agenda 21. Today I would like to summarize the three accords adopted at Rio and our plans for implementing them. Also, I have attached to my testimony the key section of the G-7 [Group of Seven industrialized nations] communique of July 8, 1992, that calls for rapid and concrete action by all countries to follow through on UNCED commitments, including drawing up national action plans for sustainable development.
Rio Declaration
One of the major results of the conference was the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. Last April, at the final meeting of the UNCED preparatory committee, a small group of approximately 14 countries, including the United States, prepared a draft compromise under Chairman Tommy Koh's direction. That text was adopted in Rio without change. The text has 27 general principles on environment and development. Principles proposed by the United States included public participation, access to information, and environmental impact assessments. Other principles promote global stewardship of the environment and the integration of environment and development. The document represents a hard-fought and successful compromise of various national interests, building on and extending the Stockholm declaration of 1972. The United States submitted for the record a statement with our interpretation of the so-called "right" to development (Principle 3); differentiated responsibilities of countries for environmental problems (Principle 7); trade measures for environmental protection (Principle 12); and people under occupation (Principle 23). We will submit the full interpretive statement, which also includes comments on the documents on forest principles and Agenda 21, for your record.
Forest Principles
At the 1990 G-7 summit in Houston, heads of state announced the goal of negotiating an international forest agreement or convention to be signed in Rio. Because of the complexity of other negotiations related to UNCED, the preparatory committee agreed to develop non- binding principles on forest management that could be a stepping stone to a convention. That approach was reaffirmed at the 1991 G- 7 summit in London. The conference adopted a statement of forest principles that reflects recognition of the importance of forests and the need for their protection and sustainable management. The principles support the role of economic incentives in forest conservation, and the need to consider factors outside the forest sector in developing management plans and policies. They also recognize the importance of all kinds of forests as natural habitats, ecological systems, and sources of revenue. There was no agreement to negotiate a legally binding forest convention because some developing countries strongly opposed the idea of a forest convention. In his speech to heads of state, President Bush reiterated the Forests for the Future Initiative that he announced just before the Rio conference, including his proposal to double international forest assistance next year.
Agenda 21: Overview
The third document I would like to discuss is Agenda 21, which provides a vision of the future. Agenda 21 was the major success of the conference. Agenda 21 contains 40 chapters that chart nations on a course to sustainable development. The document was negotiated by some 170 governments and was agreed to by consensus. Each chapter presents specific program areas that are designed to provide a common approach on environment and development issues. The chapters integrate their discussion of issues and proposed actions. For example, the chapter on forests integrates national actions and international cooperation with the conservation and sustainable development of forests. I will describe three key chapters of Agenda 21--oceans, technology cooperation, and institutions--and then outline other important accomplishments in Agenda 21 in the areas of finance and desertification.
On oceans, we are very pleased with the outcome of Rio. US leadership throughout the four preparatory committee meetings was, in large measure, responsible for success in the oceans chapter of Agenda 21. Our goal was to build upon the stable international legal framework set out in the 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention and to set priorities for the future. The United States pressed for democratic approaches to ensure that the rights of all are taken into account in decision-making. The United States was able to share its experience in implementation of domestic statutes, many of which this committee has had a hand in developing over the years. Those include laws on coastal zone management, shipping, the outer continental shelf, ocean energy development, discharge of pollutants, commercial fisheries, marine mammals, endangered species, and environmental impact statements. These are laws that we now take for granted, but others around the world want to emulate our progress in conservation. The United States successfully promoted use of economic incentives as a way to limit industrial and agricultural practices that pollute the marine environment, with special emphasis on developing strategies to address land-based sources of marine pollution. We supported an agreement in Rio for a UN-sponsored international conference on land-based sources of marine pollution. Actions recommended by the oceans chapter seek to ensure that populations of marine species are maintained at healthy levels, that populations of endangered marine mammals are protected, and that selective fishing gear is used that avoids significant waste or by catch loss. The chapter reaffirms the Law of the Sea Convention, which sets forth the rights of states and international organizations to restrict or prohibit the exploitation of marine mammals. It also underlines the responsibility of the International Whaling Commission for the regulation of whaling. The most difficult area of negotiations involved high seas fisheries, particularly straddling stocks. At the final preparatory committee meeting, the United States chaired a negotiating group on marine living resources. Differences centered on straddling fishery stocks (populations whose range is extended beyond a nation's 200- nautical-mile exclusive economic zone into the high seas), with Canada and the European Community as the primary adversaries. The negotiating group proposed a compromise calling for an intergovernmental conference on high seas fisheries to develop practical measures for implementing (not renegotiating) the relevant provisions of the 1982 UN convention (relating to straddling stocks and highly migratory species). This compromise was adopted at Rio.
Technology Cooperation.
Technology cooperation was a major focus of the United States for UNCED. The chapter on technology incorporates US efforts to highlight the concepts of technology cooperation, a significant role for the private sector, and protection of intellectual property rights. The United States also succeeded in emphasizing that transfer of environmentally sound technology is one element within a broader framework of cooperative activities. This framework addresses the development of information networks, capacity-building, research centers, technology assessment, and business partnerships.
The United States supports the view that integration of environment and development in order to achieve sustainable development should be a guiding principle of UN economic and social activities, and, at the preparatory committee meetings for UNCED, the United States provided extensive proposals for UN reform. The chapter on reform of international institutions reflects a consensus that UNCED follow-up must include strengthened interagency coordination in the UN system; enhanced roles for the UN Environment Program, the UN Development Program, and other UN agencies; strengthened regional efforts; national sustainable development plans; and an enhanced role for non-governmental organizations in UN deliberations and programs. The United States welcomed the agreement in Rio to recommend that the UN General Assembly establish a UN Commission on Sustainable Development. The commission, whose location will be determined by the UN General Assembly, would be a high-level body of the Economic and Social Council. Its purpose is to provide an appropriate intergovernmental forum for exchanges of information about national and multilateral experiences in implementing or responding to the recommendations from the Rio Conference and to consider ways to enhance UNCED follow-up. The commission will also review UN system efforts to carry out Agen-da 21 and information from independent treaty bodies on implementation of environmental conventions.
Other Major Issues
Other major issues included finance and a call for a convention on desertification.
Agenda 21 includes a chapter on financial resources that was a positive agreement from all countries. The chapter reflects a balance between the need for developing countries to mobilize most resources internally with the need for additional assistance from external sources. The United States stressed the importance of favorable domestic economies, the role of the private sector, and the need for innovative financing such as debt-for- nature swaps. The finance chapter endorsed a variety of sources and mechanisms for financial assistance for Agenda 21, including the Global Environment Facility, as restructured.
At the final [preparatory committee meeting], developing countries called for a convention to halt the spread of desertification, e.g., land degradation caused by human activities. The Rio conference agreed to request the UN General Assembly, at its 47th session, to establish an intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop a convention to combat desertification in countries experiencing serious drought or desertification, especially in Africa, by June 1994. The United States supported the convention because of the seriousness of the problem and because of the determination of African countries to address desertification.
Next Steps
President Bush said that although the road to Rio was important, "what matters more is the road from Rio." It is essential for all countries to move forward with concrete steps to promote sustainable development. The United States is working hard to ensure that the results of the conference will successfully establish the basis for a new era of global cooperation and partnership. The stakes are too high to allow Agenda 21 to merely gather dust on office shelves, a fate that has befallen too many UN work programs in the past. President Bush and the other leaders of the G-7 countries said in Munich 2 weeks ago that the earth summit was a landmark in heightening the consciousness of global environmental challenges and in giving new impetus to the process of creating a worldwide partnership on development and the environment (see p. 33). They called for rapid and concrete action to follow through on UNCED commitments, both internationally and domestically. On the international side, this includes working with other nations to put in place the restructuring and reform of the UN system agreed in Agenda 21. Domestically, it includes drawing up, publishing, and then carrying out national action plans for sustainable development. The United States is moving quickly to ensure that we have the mechanisms in place to meet both sets of objectives. Soon after the conference, the White House established a cabinet-level working group on UNCED that is the primary channel for developing interagency initiatives and post-conference follow-up action. The working group is charged with coordinating implementation of the accords adopted at Rio. The working group includes the Departments of State, Interior, Agriculture, and Energy; the Environmental Protection Agency; and senior officials of the White House and the Executive Office of the President, including the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality. Interagency coordination on UNCED-related issues will also continue at lower levels, using, in part, the well-tested interagency bodies that did an outstanding job in UNCED preparations. I can assure you that in the Bureau for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, we will dedicate the necessary resources for UNCED follow-up. It is a top priority. I am sure that other agencies will do no less.

G-7 Summit Communique, July 8, 1992 (excerpts)

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
13. The Earth Summit has been a landmark in heightening the consciousness of the global environmental challenges, and in giving new impetus to the process of creating a worldwide partnership on development and the environment. Rapid and concrete action is required to follow through on our commitments on climate change, to protect forests and oceans, to preserve marine resources, and to maintain biodiversity. We therefore urge all countries, developed and developing, to direct their policies and resources towards sustainable development which safeguards the interests of both present and future generations. 14. To carry forward the momentum of the Rio Conference, we urge other countries to join us: -- in seeking to ratify the Climate Change Convention by the end of 1993; -- in drawing up and publishing national action plans, as foreseen at UNCED, by the end of 1993; -- in working to protect species and the habitats on which they depend; -- in giving additional financial and technical support to developing countries for sustainable development through official development assistance (ODA), in particular by replenishment of IDA [the International Development Association], and for actions of global benefit through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with a view to its being established as a permanent funding mechanism, -- in establishing at the 1992 UN General Assembly the Sustainable Development Commission which will have a vital role to play in monitoring the implementation of Agenda 21, -- in establishing an international review process for the forest principles, in an early dialogue, on the basis of the implementation of these principles, on possible appropriate internationally agreed arrangements, and in increased international assistance, -- in further improving monitoring of the global environment, including through better utilization of data from satellite and other earth observation programs, -- by ensuring the international conference on straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks in the oceans is convened as soon as possible. Developing Countries 15. We welcome the economic and political progress which many developing countries have made, particularly in East and South-East Asia, but also in Latin America and in some parts of Africa. However, many countries throughout the world are still struggling against poverty. Sub-Sahara Africa, above all, gives cause for concern. 16. We are committed to dialogue and partnership founded on shared responsibility and a growing consensus on fundamental political and economic principles. Global challenges such as population growth and the environment can only be met through cooperative efforts by all countries. Reforming the economic and social sector of the UN system will be an important step to this end. 17. We welcome the growing acceptance of the principles of good governance. Economic and social progress can only be assured if countries mobilize their own potential, all segments of the population are involved and human rights are respected. Regional cooperation among developing countries enhances development and can contribute to stability, peaceful relations and reduced arms spending. 18. The industrial countries bear a special responsibility for a sound global economy. . . . We will continue our best efforts to increase the quantity and quality of official development assistance. . . . 19. We underline the importance for developing countries of trade, foreign direct investment and an active private sector. . . . 20. Negotiations on a substantial replenishment of IDA [International Development Assistance] funds should be concluded before the end of 1992. . . . 21. We are deeply concerned about the unprecedented drought in southern Africa . . . 22. We welcome the progress achieved by many developing countries in overcoming the debt problems and regaining their creditworthiness. . . . 23. We confirm the validity of the international debt strategy. . . .

US Statements For the Record on UNCED Agreements

At the final session of the UNCED, the United States recorded the following interpretive statements prior to adoption of the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21, and the non-legally binding authoritative statement of principles for the conservation and management of all types of forests, and are to be incorporated in the final report of the conference.
Rio Declaration
Principle 3: The United States does not, by joining consensus on the Rio Declaration, change its long-standing opposition to the so-called "right to development." Development is not a right. On the contrary, development is a goal we all hold, which depends for its realization in large part on the promotion and protection of the human rights set out in the universal declaration of human rights. The United States understands and accepts the thrust of Principle 3 to be that economic development goals and objectives must be pursued in such a way that the development and environmental needs of present and future generations are taken into account. The United States cannot agree to, and would disassociate itself from, any interpretation of Principle 3 that accepts a "right to development," or otherwise goes beyond that understanding. Principle 7: The United States understands and accepts that Principle 7 highlights the special leadership role of the developed countries, based on our industrial development, our experience with environmental protection policies and actions, and our wealth, technical expertise, and capabilities. The United States does not accept any interpretation of Principle 7 that would imply a recognition or acceptance by the United States of any international obligations or liabilities, or any diminution in the responsibilities of developing countries. Principle 12: The United States understands that, in certain situations, trade measures may provide an effective and appropriate means of addressing environmental concerns, including long-term sustainable forest management concerns and environmental concerns outside national jurisdiction, subject to certain disciplines. Principle 23: The United States understands that nothing in this declaration prejudices or predetermines the status of any territories under occupation or the natural resources that appertain to such territories. The United States further understands that this declaration does not prejudge negotiations to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including issues relating to natural resources and their management. The United States also understands that this declaration does not affect the rights and duties of occupying powers under the laws of war.
Agenda 21/Authoritative Statement of Forests Principles
Trade measures taken for environmental purposes:
The United States accepts the references in Agenda 21 and the forests principles to trade measures taken for environmental purposes subject to the same understanding stated for Principle 12 of the Rio Declaration.
Technology Cooperation:
The United States strongly believes that adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights is an essential component of any international technology cooperation effort aimed at environmental protection and/or development assistance. Such protection is essential to provide incentives for innovation in the development of environmentally sound and appropriate technologies, and to facilitate access and transfer and dissemination of such technologies. The United States understands the provisions of the Forest Principles and Agenda 21 regarding access to and transfer of technology to mean that, in the case of technologies and know-how subject to intellectual property rights, such assess and transfer shall be on freely negotiated, mutually agreed terms that recognize and are consistent with the adequate and effective protection of those rights.
The United States understands that biotechnology is in no way an intrinsically unsafe process. The United States accepts to consider the need for and feasibility of internationally agreed guidelines on safety in biotechnology releases, and to consider studying the feasibility of guidelines which could facilitate national legislation on liability and compensation subject to this understanding.
Sharing of benefits derived from biological and genetic resources:
The United States understands the references to appropriate measures for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from biological and genetic resources in Agenda 21 to mean such measures as may be mutually agreed between the sources and users of these resources, under conditions that recognize and are fully consistent with the adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights. In addition, references to the sharing of benefits derived from the use of biological and genetic resources are understood to be without regard to the sources of such resources.
Right to Socio-Economic Development on a Sustainable Basis:
The United States understand the words "right to socio- economic development on a sustainable basis" in the Forests Principles on the same basis as stated for Principle 3 of the Rio Declaration.
ODA Targets:
The United States is not among those countries that have affirmed an official development assistance target. Such a target would detract from the more important issues of the effectiveness and quality of aid and the policies in the recipient country. The United States emphasizes that, with respect to Chapter 33, Paragraph 15, it is one of the "other developed countries" that "agree to make their best efforts to increase" their level of ODA, "in line with their support for reform efforts in developing countries." The United States has traditionally been the largest aid donor in volume terms and will continue to provide high-quality aid on a case-by-case basis, in a way that encourages reform efforts in developing countries.