Ottawa, The Council of Canadians released today a leaked copy of the G8 Environment Ministers proposed final statement on the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
Environment ministers from the eight leading industrialized countries (the G8) are meeting in Banff, Alberta this weekend in preparation for the G8 first ministers meeting (June 26 - 27th) and the WSSD in Johannesburg, South Africa (August 26th to September 4, 2002).
The leaked document clearly outlines how the environment ministers are going to be supporting the corporate trade agenda of the WTO and forcing this onto countries around the world at the WSSD. The main focus that runs throughout the document is the need to link sustainable development" to globalization. For example, the document says, "It [the WSSD] should be a point of convergence for the positive outcomes achieved at the Millennium Summit in New York, World Trade Organization negotiations in Doha and Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey."
"It is pathetic to see that the G8 environment ministers are planning to subordinate the world's environment to corporate globalization," said Maude Barlow, Chair of the Council of Canadians. "The world's environmental crisis is mounting and all they can commit to is more of the same globalization that is causing the environmental crisis."
"Every time trade agreements address environmental issues, the environment loses out," says David Robbins, Trade Campaigner for the Council of Canadians. "This is a very bad sign for the future of the planet. The G8 is working, through the Quad of the WTO, to limit governments' ability to protect the environment."
"In reality, the G8 functions as the executive of the WTO and they clearly want to make sure that environmental issues are not going to limit corporate profits," added Robbins. At the WTO negotiations in Doha, the G8 countries successfully pushed for water and environmental services to be commodified and controlled by corporations.
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