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Objectives by Issue (Evaluative Criteria): 1999 Köln Summit


If the 1999 Koln Summit is going to be a success this year, the leaders must speak on important environmental issues and incorporate some of these concerns into their deliberations, particularly given Germany's hosting of the summit and its traditional strength in advancing coordination on international environmental issues. Three of the major issues likely to emerge on the environmental agenda include the following:

  1. Biosafety - this is becoming an increasingly difficult issue as international debate continues over the advantages of genetically-modified foods. This issue essentially pits the Americans and the Canadians against the Europeans, with the Japanese tending to side more with the Europeans. What seems to primarly motivate European resistance is not the issue of protectionism, rather the 'precautionary principle' -ie, the idea being that if the possibility of harm with a certain product exits, it should be avoided. By contrast, the Americans and Canadians generally tend to be of the opinion that if a particular product has not demonstrated any negative effects, it is suitable for personal consumption. The leaders will thus likely continue to recognize the need to pursue adequate consultations and preparations in ensuring a successful conclusion to the negotiations of a biosafety protocol no later than the fifth Conference of the Parties in May 2000.

  2. Climate change - the leaders are likely to emphasize timely progress in the implementation of the Buenos Aires Action Plan with a view to early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol., with particular emphasis on a comprehensive compliance regime which would include procedures and mechanisms containing binding consequences for non-compliant members. 2005 will remain a target deadline for the achievement of significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The leaders will further support the developing countries through incentives, increased information flows, technology transfers and capacity building through sustainable development means.

  3. Nuclear reactor safety - the leaders will emphasize the importance of the safe operation of nuclear power plants and the achievement of high safety standards. They will also attach great importance to the full implementation of the Nuclear Safety Account grants agreement, particularly with respect to the Ukraine. The summit members will further stress that funding from the G7 and other international donors envisaged under the M o U is dependent on the closure of Chernobyl taking place as scheduled by 2000. The safety of Chernobyl reactor 3 continues to be of grave concern to the the G7 and will be further discussed during the leaders deliberations at Koln.

Compiled by: Ella Kokotsis
June 1999

~ Objectives by Issue (Evaluative Criteria): 1999 Köln Summit ~

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