Overall Grading: B+
Climate Change B
The Denver Communiqué states that reversing the trends of global climate change will require a sustained international effort (led by the G-7 countries) over several decades with the most important changes occurring in patterns of consumption and production. While the ultimate goal of stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases was highlighted in the Communiqué, the leaders fell short of establishing quantified, legally binding emission targets. However, it was acknowledged that there was an intention to commit to meaningful, realistic and equitable targets at the Kyoto Conference. The importance of establishing an appropriate mechanism for monitoring and ensuring compliance among Parties was also stressed in the Communiqué, but no proposal was put forth in this regard.
Forests were a huge topic of discussion in Denver and it was agreed that the G-7 countries would support a practical Action Program that includes implementing national programs and building capacity for sustainable forest management; establishing networks of protected areas; assessing the state of each nation's forests; promoting private sector management of forests; and eliminating illegal logging. Additionally, there was a call for all countries to make a long term political commitment to achieve sustainable forest management practices worldwide in accordance with the proposals put forth by the UNCSD Intergovernmental Panel on Forests.
Fresh Water B+
The Communiqué urges the UNGA to encourage the CSD to develop a practical plan of action to address freshwater-related issues, including promotion of efficient water use, improvement of water quality and sanitation, technological development and capacity building, and public awareness and institutional improvements. While no specific plan of action was presented in the Communiqué, the G-7 nations did agree to promote bilateral and regional cooperation on freshwater concerns and to enhance coordination of efforts in this area.
Prepared by: Allison Smith
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