In part, the limited attention to sustainable development issues at Naples reflected a desire to have a communiqué that was shorter and more authentically produced by the leaders themselves. It was also due in part to the emergence since 1992 of a separate G7 forum for environment ministers, paralleling G7 bodies or gatherings of ministers responsible for foreign affairs, finance, trade, employment and, most recently, information technology.
The origins of the G7 environment ministers forum can be traced back to 1984. Then the leaders, at their London 2 Summit, called upon their environment ministers to clarify areas of continuing cooperation, and upon their science and technology task force to report on environmental issues by the end of 1984. In 1989, President Bush brought Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Bill Reilly with him to the Summit, and allowed him to brief the attending media. In the spring of 1992, the environment minister of Summit host Germany, Klaus Toefler, invited his colleagues to a meeting in Germany to discuss the forthcoming Rio agenda. G7 environment ministers met again onsite at UNCED, contributing to an active process of coordination through which the G7 maintained a common position and prevented the isolation or defection of the US. Although no meeting was held in 1993, Italian Environment Minister Spini hosted his colleagues at Florence in the spring of 1994, for what proved to be largely a getacquainted session.
The Florence meeting was sufficiently successful to inspire the Canadian government to host a subsequent meeting, in Hamilton from April 29 to May 1, 1995. Initial planning for the Hamilton meeting indicated a substantive focus on three major sets of issues: environmenteconomy integration with a focus on "greening" government; the priority issues of climate change, biodiversity, and toxics management; and institutions, including reform of the international environmental and financial institutions.
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