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Un especial de Tierramérica: Cumbre Mundial sobre el Desarrollo Sostenible,
Johannesburgo, 26 de agosto - 4 de septiembre 2002
 
   
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Latin America and the Caribbean Stand Firmly beside Brazil

Environment Ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean this weekend unanimously backed the energy initiative submitted by Brazil which commits the world to obtain 10 percent of its fuel needs from clean renewable energy sources by 2010.

The proposal by Brazil contrasts with the initiative of the European Union which wants the world to get 15 percent of its energy from renewables by 2010, but with an increase of just 2 percent for the industrialized countries which presently use only 5.6 percent of clean energy and are at the same time the biggest polluters.

The United States, which emits 25 percent of all toxic emissions globally "was very cost conscious" in the discussion at the ministerial plenary session and refused to agree to world clean energy goals. Iinstead, it suggested Type 2 proposals, which are voluntary, Brazilian Environment Minister Jose Carlos Carvalho told Tierramerica.

The proposal presented on Saturday "is a very important document in terms of creating a mechanism for closer cooperation and sharing of experiences in the Latin American and Caribbean region, and in terms of our position in the international debate as well," added Carvalho.

The Group of 77, of which Brazil is a member, also agreed in principle with setting energy, water and sanitation targets, although there were differences within the bloc.

Both the European Union and the United States offered, in Johannesburg, to invest in water and sanitation projects in developing countries in exchange for not setting global targets on clean energy, essential for halting or reversing global warming, which is caused by greenhouse gases created by the burning of fossil fuels.

Environment ministers of Latin America and the Caribbean also urged those countries that have not yet ratified the Kyoto Protocol to do so as soon as possible, "particularly the ones that are the biggest producers of greenhouse gases."

Similarly, the ministers called for "compliance by developed countries with their pledge to set aside 0.7 percent of gross national product to official development aid."

The regional initiative reaffirmed positions adopted at the Rio Summit, namely to eradicate social inequality, introduce an environmental dimension into economic calculations, fortify technical and vocational training institutions and promote the development of human resources. (end)


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