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214-pol-sample-environment - The Long Road to Copenhagen...

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40 | Page The Long Road to Copenhagen. Set up the UN Environment Programme UNEP in Nairobi. Set up an Action Plan of 109 measures for governmental and international action Concern for the environment became sidelined by the onset of the OPEC oil crisis in 1973. Developing nations viewed the concentration on the environment as a developed world way of redistributing power away from the oil-producing nations. They also were sceptical of the focus on international agreements on the environment once the developed world had enjoyed the luxury of development (pulling up the ladder behind them). The “Limits on Growth” was published to worldwide attention pointing to the limit that the environment’s carrying capacity would place on international economic growth. The Global Report to the President in 1980 concluded in a similarly pessimistic fashion although the right wing response to this in Kahn and Simon’s A Response to Global 2000 (2002) labelled the fatalism of the report as “globaloney!” Pressure group membership and support for Green parties in Western Europe soared in the wake of a large number of environmental catastrophes in the 1980s including: The Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown (1979) The Bhopal chemical spill 1984 The acid rain debate Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown 1986 The discovery of the hole in the ozone layer The 1984 drought and famine in Africa A major chemical spill in the Rhine 1986 Deforestation accelerating in Brazil, Ivory Coast, Haiti, Thailand, Angola, Indonesia…. The Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska 1989 1987 UNEP – “Our Common Future” (Brundtland Report) Written by the Chair of the UN Commission Gro Harland Brundtland (later Norwegian PM) the report linked hunger, debt, inadequate economic growth to environmental concerns. She attempted to draw together the issues of ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN. (see sustainable development section in ecologism). The 1987 Montreal Protocol established limits on CFC use (50% reduction by 2000) and then later an outright ban to reduce the hole in the ozone layer. There was consensus over the impact of CFCs and was an effective mechanism for swiftly reducing their use. Thatcher and Soviet Union Foreign Minister Eduard Schevardnadze gave speeches in 1988 linking the environment with issues of national security for the first time. Reagan and Bush both downplayed the environment as an issue arguing for more study and that the cost of environmental protection was punitive for US business. US officials began to adopt their modernist position that technology and markets provide better solutions to environmental issues than regulation by government or international agreements. In 1988 the IPCC was established to monitor and assimilate the information on climate change .
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41 | Page 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development: Rio “Earth Summit” Find the Rio Conventions here 173 national delegates, 115 heads of state and more than 15,000 NGO representatives focused on the issue of “sustainable development”.
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214-pol-sample-environment - The Long Road to Copenhagen...

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