[acn-l] WTO and the Environment (fwd)

peter.unmack at asu.edu
Sun, 11 Apr 1999 17:05:48 -0700 (MST)

Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 15:59:49 -0300
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Gary Gallon <cibe at web.net>
Subject: WTO and the Environment

THE GALLON ENVIRONMENT LETTER
506 Victoria Ave., Montreal, Quebec H3Y 2R5
Ph. (514) 369 0230, Fax (514) 369 3282
Email cibe at web.net
Vol. 3, No. 8, March 19, 1999

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INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL
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WTO PROPOSES A WORLD ENVIRONMENT ORGANIZATION

The Director General, of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Renato
Ruggiero, called for the creation of a World Environment Organization
parallel to the World Trade Organization. He made the call March 15, 1999,
at the WTO HighLevel Symposium on Trade and the Environment, in Geneva.
This was the first WTO meeting by senior trade officials with non
governmental
organizations. Delegates from the 134 nations who are members of the WTO met
with representatives of 26 intergovernmental organizations, and people from
130
nongovernmental organizations representing the environment, development,
agriculture, trade unions, consumers, academia and business. Ruggiero said
that
he, "would suggest that we need a (WTO) similar multilateral rulesbased
system
for the environment a World Environment Organization to also be the
institutional
and legal counterpart to the World Trade Organization. Source Environment
News
Service (ENS).

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U.S. $300 BILLION IN ENERGY SUBSIDIES DISTORTING
TRADE AND HARMING THE ENVIRONMENT

Claus Toepfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) said UNEP is ready, willing and able to strengthen
collaboration with WTO. Toepfer said UNEP will be gathering essential
data on the environmental consequences of international economic policies.
He said that, "Many countries have identified, for example, environmental
and trade benefits of removing pricedistorting subsidies. The environmental
costs of these distortions are now known to be staggering." He added that,
experts estimate that these inefficient policies cost society over US$20
billion
dollars in fishing subsidies; over $300 billion in energy subsidies and over
$350 billion in agricultural subsidies." The energy subsidies alone result in
excessive energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and result in major
environmental problems ranging from oil spills to gas emissions from well
head extractions.

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STOP HARMFUL FISHING SUBSIDIES

Subsidizing fishing may be good momentarily for certain regions.
But in the long run, the subsidies harm the economy and deplete
the fisheries. Canada found this out when its government subsidies
resulted in the collapse of cod fisheries on the Atlantic Coast. Now
the United States joined by Australia, Iceland, New Zealand and the
Philippines, proposed a curb on fishing subsidies at an WTO environmental
meeting in Geneva sponsored by the 134nation World Trade Organization.
A recent World Bank study estimated government subsidies to promote
fishing totaled $11 billion to $20 billion annually. Opponents say such
subsidies distort trade by reducing fishing costs and placing downward
pressure on world seafood prices at a time of growing shortages of some
types of fish. "Fisheries stocks are in decline worldwide", said Terry
Garcia,
assistant commerce secretary for oceans and atmosphere. "Put simply, too
many boats are chasing too few fish." Eliminating government subsidies
would help reduce the problem of overfishing worldwide, he said. U.S.
Source, "Seeks Fishing Subsidies Curb", by Martin Crutsinger,
AP Economics Writer. Full story can be seen at website
http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=255878674249a

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GERMANY BEGIN TO SHIFT FROM PERSONAL INCOME
TAX TO ENERGY USE TAXES

Germany is in the process of passing a law that essentially calls for a
shift of employment related taxes to energy taxes. The tax shift will
help modify consumption patterns to better protect the environment.
European economists and public policy officials have been researching
the potential effects for years, but now we have a "natural" experiment
to observe. Energy taxes as of April 1, 1999 will become more expensive
in Germany. The German government pushed its bill introducing the
ecotax through the Bundestag in a vote with 332 in favour, and 299 against.
Gasoline and diesel fuel will rise by in price by 6 Pfennig (0.06 DM) a
litre,
heating oil by 4 Pfennig a litre. The tax on natural gas will go up by 0.32
Pfennig per kilowatthour, electricity by 2 Pfennig per kilowatthour.
Reduced rates of the tax will apply for manufacturing concerns, agriculture,
and the railway. The government wants to use the additional tax revenue to
finance a lowering of old age security premiums to 19.5 percent.
See GermNews website at
<http://www.mathematik.uniulm.de/germnews>http://www.mathematik.uniulm.de/ge
rmnews

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WTO FOCUSES ON TRADE IN FOREST PRODUCTS

The World Trade Organization (WTO) trade ministers will meet
in Seattle at the WTO's Third Ministerial, November 30 to December
3, 1999, where they plan to introduce a sweeping new agenda that may
result in the increased worldwide consumption of wood products. It may
open up native forests to logging and could result in weakening
environmental protections, and open the door to invasive species.
The most urgent initiative is a new forest products agreement that U.S.
Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky told Congress is a top negotiating
priority. A number of other agenda items could have even greater impacts on
forests. Advisors for the proposed new positions are executives from
Weyerhaeuser, Boise Cascade, International Paper, and GeorgiaPacific.
No one representing protections for forests or workers is at the table.

The new proposal by the U.S. and supported by Canada, focuses on
reducing what the forest industry considers "barriers to trade." The result
will be cost reductions for wood products consumers, stimulating demand
and intensifying logging. While the current scope of talks covers only
tariffs (import taxes), negotiations are expected to introduce "nontariffs,"
which can refer to anything, even environmental laws. The U.S., Canada,
and other big exporters want total elimination of tariffs on wood products
worldwide, particularly in the enormous Japanese and Korean markets.
This report was prepared by Victor Menotti, Director of the IFG Environment
Program. Contact him at ph. 4157713394. Also contact Phil Knight,
Native Forest Network, Yellowstone Branch, Last Refuge Campaign,
Gondwana Forest Sanctuary, PO Box 6151, Bozeman, Montana 597716151
ph. (406) 586 3885, email pknight at wildrockies.org
website <http://www.nativeforest.org/>http://www.nativeforest.org

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VELES, MACEDONIA
A CITY'S ECONOMY CHOKED BY POLLUTION

One of major problems holding back the economic recovery
of the eastern European nations is the complete lack of
pollution control and environmental laws. One example is
the City of Veles in Macedonia (pop. 60,000). Uncontrolled
industry in this once Communist block nation, has left a 60
year legacy of air and water pollution, that continues today.
Until 1991, Macedonia was part of Yugoslavia, and Veles was
discovered to be the most polluted city in the entire Balkan region.
A research team led by engineer, Antoni Efremov, found that
pollution, that had been controlled 20 years ago in countries like
Canada, Japan, Germany and the U.S., flowed unabated into the
lungs and food of the Veles people. The team documented
pollution induced health problems including "respiratory
diseases, leukemia, nerve and kidney diseases, and deformities in
the newborn. Fortyfive percent of the children surveyed have
blood and urine problems.

Fifteen companies in the middle of the city have been identified as
the major polluters. They refuse to invest in pollution prevention
and pollution control. They opted instead to off load the cost outside
the plant gate by letting the people absorb the off site emissions.
Three plants in particular concern the research team. They are Kiro
Cucuk, a ceramic factory that produces bricks; Topilnica Veles, a
smelter for zinc and lead; and, a bus production factory. Everyday
harmful substances are emitted such as cadmium and lead. Veles is
responsible for 10% of the entire amount of sulphur dioxide emitted in
Macedonia. Researchers have found that the environment in a circle
7,000 meters (4.5 miles) out from the smelter is all polluted. Lead levels
are seven to 16 times greater than allowed. Cadmium concentrations are
25 times more than permitted; zinc levels are five to nine times greater
than allowed. One Veles gynecologist, Dr. Marija Jordanova, says, she
has seen many patients with malformed fetuses and many women with
predisposition to cancer of the uterus. More than 10 percent of the Veles
children between eight and 10 years old are predisposed to get leukemia.
Mortality from respiratory diseases has increased 179%. The sperm count
of Veles men is the lowest in the Balkans. Source, "Macedonian City Dying
of Pollution", by Natasha Dokovska, March 12, 1999 Environment News
Service (ENS) 1999.

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FORBES HOSTING ENVIRONMENTAL SUPER CONFERENCE
APRIL 28 TO 30, 1999 IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Forbes Magazine and Business Publishers, Inc., announce the 1999
Environmental Superconference, which will be held April 2830, 1999
at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. the Superconference is aimed
primarily at suppliers of environmental goods and services who want to
explore opportunities for business with government and industry, and
develop business/growth strategies. If you are interested in adding a link
or a listing to the Superconference website on your site, please visit the
website at
<http://www.bpinews.com/super.html>http://www.bpinews.com/super.html,
ph. 1. (800) 2746737,
Fax (301) 5874530, email bpiconferences at bpinews.com

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CALIFORNIA CONFERENCE ON ADVANCED ENERGY GENERATION

The International Colloquium and Exhibit on Environmentally
Preferred Advanced Energy Generation (ICEPAG) will be held
by the combustion Laboratory of the University of California
Irvine Campus. Lectures provided by worldrenowned professionals
and intensive short courses instructed by leading practitioners directed
toward an understanding of energy technologies, environmental impacts,
economic drivers, and regulatory issues. Designed for policy decision
makers, energy strategy decisionmakers, and those interested in the
emerging energy technologies, the environment, regulations, and the
advent of distributed power. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of
Energy, the California Energy Commission, Pacific Rim
Consortium on Energy Combustion and the Environment in
cooperation with the World Bank. It will be held March 22 to 25,
1999, at the Irvine Hyatt Regency, Irvine, California. Visit website
<http://www.parcon.uci.edu/colloquium>http://www.parcon.uci.edu/colloquium

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NATIONAL CENTRE FOR BUSINESS & ECOLOGY, U.K.

The National Centre for Business & Ecology at the University of Salford,
Greater Manchester, U.K. has just launched a new website. The site contains
details of the four diverse services offered by the Centre, information on
recently
completed and successful projects, case histories, staff profiles etc.
Contact,

Fiona Nicholls, Project Coordinator, National Centre for Business & Ecology,
The Peel Building, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, M5 4WT,
Tel. 0161 295 5276, Fax 0161 295 5041, email F.Nicholls at NCBE.salford.ac.uk
website <http://www.ncbe.co.uk/>http://www.NCBE.co.uk

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BUSINESS & ECONOMICS CONFERENCE, CANARY ISLAND

The International Conference of The Business & Economics
Society will be held in the Canary Islands/Spain (Melia Las Palmas Hotel),
July 2226, 1999. You may participate as panel organizer, presenter of one
or two papers, chair, moderator, discussant, or observer. The deadline for
abstract submission and participation is March 30, 1999. All papers will pass
a blind peer review process for publication consideration in the anthology
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY VOLUME III.
For more information please contact Helen Kantarelis through Regular Mail
Business & Economics Society International, c/o Helen Kantarelis, 64 Holden
Street Worcester, MA 016053109, USA Tel(508) 5950089 email
hkantar at assumption.edu Website
http:
//<http://www.assumption.edu/>www.assumption.edu/html/faculty/kantar/missb1.
html

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HOME DEPOT STORES FACE ECONOMIC BOYCOTT ON
OLD GROWTH PRODUCTS

The Home Depot store in Williston, Vermont is facing a shoppers boycott
because of its sales of wood products made from old growth forest trees in
Canada and the U.S. In the Vermont Home Depot an International Day Action
group went inside the store behind a coffin that represented the death of old
growth forests from around the world. The group paraded through the store
for about 30 minutes, chanting "Home Depot Stop logging oldgrowth
forests; your greenwashing can not fool us." Police arrived on the scene
and the protesters continued the demonstration outside, passing out
informational
materials to Home Depot patrons. Groups represented in this action included
ACERCA (Action for Community and Ecology in the Rainforests of Central
America), Goddard College SPEAK, Middlebury College Rainforest Action
Group, Native Forest Network, St. Michael's College Save the Planet, and
VermontBurma Alliance. To understand the issues behind this action contact,
Action for Community & Ecology in the Rainforests of Central America
( ACERCA), Post Office Box 57, Burlington, Vermont 05402, ph. (802)
863 0571, fax (802) 864 8203, email acerca at sover.net
Website at
http://<http://www.nativeforest.org/>www.nativeforest.org/campaigns/acerca/i
ndex.html

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INTERNATIONAL TASK FORCE TO FIGHT WILDLIFE CRIME IN AFRICA

As the human population grows, and as new rich classes are created
in developing and emerging economies, the demand for exotic animals
and animal parts has grown dramatically. Simple measures to protect
the biodiversity of animals have to be expanded. As a result the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has established an "African
INTERPOL". On March 17, 1999, six countries formally empowered
an international Task Force to fight wildlife crime in Africa. They are
the Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, the United Republic of
Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The Task Force, whose headquarters
will be at the Kenya Wildlife Service in Nairobi, will function under
the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations
directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora, signed in Lusaka in
1994. The objective of the Agreement is to reduce and ultimately
eliminate illegal trade in wildlife. The establishment of the Task Force
will also strengthen the effectiveness of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
For more information, please contact Mr. Donald Kaniaru,
Director, UNEP Law Unit, Tel. 2542623507, Fax, 2542230198,
Email donald.kaniaru at unep.org or Tore J. Brevik, Director,
UNEP Communications and Public Affairs, tel 2542623292, fax
2542623927.

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ENVIRONMENT BUDGET HELPING U.S. ECONOMY, NOT HARMING IT

The growing U.S. economy has not been slowed by some of the toughest
environmental laws in the world, according to the Clinton Administration's
chief environmental official. Some Republicans contend that many
environmental programs proposed by the White House in previous years
and new ones for fiscal 2000 cost too much and are misguided.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner,
however, told a Senate environmental committee that the administration's
$7.2 billion EPA budget request for next year would help, not hurt,
economic growth. See full article at
website http://news.wateronline.com/industrynews/199903058535.html

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ECONOMICS AND BIODIVERSITY WEBSITE ESTABLISHED
BY IUCN

The IUCN The World Conservation Union, established its Economics
Service Unit January 1998. It is responsible for an array of projects
and activities on finance, incentives, trade, assessment and valuation.
The Unit has created the Economics of Biodiversity Internet site. The
website provides economics tools and approaches to enable IUCN
and other environmental departments to use economics competently in
promoting and implementing biodiversity and endangered species protection
programs. If you are interested in investing in the work of the Economics
Service Unit, please contact Frank Vorhies at fwv at hq.iucn.org. For
more information contact, IUCNThe World Conservation Union, 28
Rue Mauverney, CH1296 Gland, Switzerland, tel (41) 22 999 0001,
fax (41) 22 999 0025, email economics at hq.iucn.org
website at <http://economics.iucn.org/>http://economics.iucn.org/

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YALE UNIVERSITY CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL
LEADERSHIP SEMINAR, JUNE 1999

Yale University is running a Corporate Environmental Leadership
Seminar in New Haven, Connecticut between June 6 and June 17,
1999. The course is intended to offer state of the debate assessments
of contemporary issues, to sharpen tools needed for environmental
management and to enhance the strategic thinking of participants.
The course is delivered by a distinguished group of faculty members
from Yale's Law, Medical, Management and Forestry and Environmental
Studies Schools as well as outside experts through a mix of discussions,
problemsolving exercises, and case studies. The 1999 Seminar will
place emphasis on international issues, public and private roles,
practical implications of industrial ecology and leadership activities.
Further information can be obtained from Janet Testa or Marian
Chertow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies,
205 Prospect Street, New Haven, Connecticut 065112189, USA ,
email janet.testa at yale.edu or via the website
<http://www.yale.edu/cels>http://www.yale.edu/cels.

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CANADA CANADA CANADA CANADA
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CANADA'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
HOLDS HEARINGS ON WTO AND FTAA

The Government of Canada is holding Parliamentary Hearings on
the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the potential new Free
Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). Your company and your
organization is invited to make presentations at a series of public
hearings to be held across Canada. This is your opportunity to be
heard on measures that will improve the environment and that will
improve trade in environmental goods and services. There are a
number of misguided efforts to name environmental protection
measures as "non tariff trade barriers" that should be removed.
There are those that feel national measures to protect the environment
impede free trade. However, both can co exist. The Council of Canadians
has prepared a package of information. The Trade (WTO/ FTAA) Action
Package will include background information on trade and investment
including the WTO and the FTAA. T receive a copy email
adashtgard at canadians.org
To make a presentation/ submission or request a hearing in your
home city, contact Richard Dupuis, Clerk of the Standing Committee
Phone 613 996 1540, email dupuir at parl.gc.ca

For more information on these hearings check the Department of Foreign
Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) website
<http://www.dfaitmaeci.gc.ca/>http://www.dfaitmaeci.gc.ca/
(click on news releases, select 1999 and the relevant information is
dated Feb. 8, 1999).

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OBTAIN PROFILE ON ONTARIO WASTE MANAGEMENT
INDUSTRY SUBSECTOR OF THE ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY

The Green Industry Office (GIO) of the Ontario Ministry of the
Environment (MOE) published a sector study entitled, "Economic
and Market Assessment of the Ontario Waste Management Industry".
It was prepared by TCI Convergence Limited (with subcontracting
assistance from OCETA). The report focuses on Ontario's industrial and
hazardous waste management sector and is intended to provide a general
overview of the size and structure of this environment industry subsector
in Ontario. It provides a summary of business opportunities for Ontario
based firms in both domestic and international markets. The study examines
strategies for Ontario's waste management companies to successfully
compete in the new and emerging market opportunities in both domestic
and international markets. More information contact Nora Gurland,
Senior Officer, MOE Green Industry Office, 135 St. Clair Ave., Toronto,
ph. (416) 314 7912. Website

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ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY CONFERENCE, SASKATCHEWAN

An international conference on "Nature, Wealth And The Human
Economy In The Next Millennium", will be held August 27 to 29,
1999, at the Luther College, University Of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Sponsored by The Canadian Society For Ecological Economics,
International Center For Sustainable Global Development, Canadian
Plains Research Center, and Saskatchewan Environment And
Resource Management. Presentations will be made by Dr. Robert
Costanza, Past President of the International Society of Ecological
Economics and coauthor of An Introduction to Ecological Economics.
And by Dr. William Rees, President of the Canadian Society of Ecological
Economics and coauthor of Our Ecological Footprint. What's It About?
Conference issues will include free market providing effective solutions
to global warming; economics and conserving biodiversity; and, current
economic theories on production. To participate, contact, Dr. Paul C. James,
Chair, CANSEE Conference Planning Committee, c/o Fish & Wildlife
Branch, 3211 Albert Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4S 5W6, Ph.
(306) 787 9058, fax (306) 787 9544,
email paul.james.erm at govmail.gov.sk.ca
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CANADIAN UNIVERSITY PROGRAM ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The Canadian University Program on Climate Change (CUPCC)
is an applied research program that is bringing together university
and other experts in the climate sciences, biology and ecosystem
analysis, technology, and social sciences. The purpose of this university
based network is to facilitate the creation of an integrated multi
disciplinary capacity in the university system that will be required
to manage the climate change issue in Canada in the long term.
>From fifteen Canadian universities and affiliates such as the Climate
Research Network and the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology
Advancement (OCETA) has the participation of ecosystem experts,
technological experts, political scientists, economists, experts in
economic and general equilibrium modeling, and experts in simulated
trading systems.

CUPCC held a meeting in Toronto Feb. 10 & 11, 1999, which included
participants from the Massachusetts's Institute of Technology (MIT),
CarnegieMellon University, and the European Forum on Integrated
Assessment. The output of the meeting was identification of plans and
priorities for multi disciplinary research of interest to stakeholder
representatives from industry, government, and universities. For more info
contact Dr. Adele Buckley, VP Research and Technology, OCETA, at ph.
416 778 5281 or email abuckley at oceta.on.ca. Or see
Website
<http://www.cics.uvic.ca/cupcc/index.htm>Http://www.cics.uvic.ca/cupcc/index
.htm.
Or the OCETA website at <http://www.oceta.on.ca/>http://www.oceta.on.ca

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Copyright (c) 1999 Canadian Institute for
Business and the Environment, Montreal
All rights reserved.
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