- We, the Environment Ministers of the eight major
industrialized countries and the European Commissioner responsible for the
Environment, have met from 2 to 4 March 2001 in Trieste, Italy as a follow up to
our last meeting in Otsu, Japan in 2000 to discuss challenging environmental
issues. Discussions centred on three key themes: I. Climate Change; II. Sustainable Development
towards Johannesburg 2002; III. Environment and Health. We call upon the chair
to forward this communiqué to the chair of the Genoa Summit of Heads of State
- As this new millennium begins, we must take stock of the range of complex
global environmental challenges to be addressed to achieve sustainable
development which must be met with short and long-term actions. We share the
strong concerns about the environmental threats for our planet.
We must exercise vigorously our leadership to counter these
threats and to live up to our responsibilities.
I. Climate Change
A. Promoting timely global action to meet the challenges of
- "Emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols due to human
activities continue to alter the atmosphere in ways that are expected to affect
There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming
observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.
The globally averaged surface temperature is projected to
increase by 1,4 to 5,8;deg;C over the period 1990 to 2100. The projected rate of
warming is much larger than the observed changes during the 20th
( Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-IPCC, WG I, Third
Assessment Report – January 2001).
- "Scientific studies show that human health, ecological
systems, and socio-economic sectors (e.g. hydrology and water resources, food
and fiber production, coastal systems, and human settlements), all of which are
vital to sustainable development, are sensitive to changes in climate –
including both the magnitude and rate of climate changes – as well as to changes
in climate variability." (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-IPCC,
Special Report, Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of
- We express our concern about the seriousness of the
situation according to the findings of the IPCC report. We commit ourselves at
the resumed COP6 to strive to reach agreement on outstanding political issues
and to ensure in a cost-effective manner the environmental integrity of
the Kyoto Protocol, making full use of all opportunities, including ministerial
meetings. A successful outcome at COP 6-bis is necessary to allow early entry
into force of the Kyoto Protocol. For most countries this means no later than
2002, with timely ratification processes.
- We recognize the importance of continuing consultations on
issues such as sinks and the Kyoto Mechanisms and compliance, to lay the basis
for decisions at the resumed COP 6.
We agree that efficient, transparent and clear rules on the
Kyoto Mechanisms are important to achieve the goals of the Kyoto Protocol and
that a comprehensive and strong compliance system, supported by a reliable
system of monitoring, reporting and review will facilitate compliance and
- Furthermore, we commit to take the lead by strengthening and
implementing national programs and actions, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
as well as to promote and disseminate environmentally sound technologies and
practices and renewable energy sources.
In addition, we look forward to concrete recommendations from
the G8 Renewable Energy Task Force established by the Heads of State and
Government at the Okinawa Summit as stated in paragraph 66 of the Okinawa
- Achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention will
require much greater efforts in developed countries, and developing countries.
We reaffirm our responsibilities to take the lead in combating climate change.
We also welcome those actions already being taken by developing countries and
encourage them to strengthen their efforts in this field.
We recognise the importance of capacity building and technology
transfer, as well as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), in order to assist
and support developing countries in addressing climate change.
- We recognise the findings of the IPCC that some countries
may be particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of climate change, namely
small island developing states and least developed countries. We also
acknowledge the need to continue supporting adaptation measures by those
- We recognise the importance of capacity building and
technology transfer, as well as Joint Implementation, in order to assist and
support countries with economies in transition in addressing climate
B. Strengthening domestic actions
- All G8 countries have already begun and commit themselves
to take strong domestic actions to tackle global climate change. We note the
benefit of showing demonstrable progress in the years ahead. G8 countries will
submit transparent and accountable information on domestic actions as required
by the Climate Change Convention.
We confirm that the use of the Kyoto mechanisms will be
supplemental to domestic actions.
- We recognise that a firm consensus for action on climate
change is needed and that all sectors of society must be called upon to play
their part in implementing change. Addressing social and employment issues is a
matter of fundamental importance to promoting consensus.
- Using the opportunities and advantages of the market and
sending the right signals to the market are important for effectively addressing
climate change. G8 countries are introducing measures that may include market
mechanisms and will promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We
applaud the many private companies, civic groups, and individuals that are
working to reduce their emissions. We congratulate, for example, businesses that
have adopted voluntary programs, including innovative market-oriented
approaches. These efforts demonstrate that the private sector, through the
development of new technologies and the adoption of energy-efficient practices,
can play a central role in meeting the challenge of climate change. We pledge to
encourage and facilitate further voluntary actions by civil society now and to
exchange information about how we can develop more effective public-private
II. Sustainable Development towards Johannesburg 2002
Preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(WSSD) in 2002
- G8 Environment Ministers appreciate the decision of the UN
General Assembly A55/199 accepting the offer of the Republic of South Africa to
host the World Summit, and recommending attendance by Heads of State and
- The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development presents a
special opportunity to review past progress and to identify and anticipate new
and emerging challenges that we will face in efforts to achieve sustainable
development. We must find ways to ensure that globalisation promotes sustainable
development to the benefit of all. Equally it will be essential to capture the
benefits of technology for sustainable development.
- The Summit should identify ways to promote better
integration and coherence between the global development agenda, poverty
eradication and global environment protection. We reaffirm the OECD
Environmental International Development Target. The Summit should take forward
looking action oriented decisions, particularly on sustainable energy and water.
In this context, we look forward at the international conference on Freshwater
(Bonn 3-7 December 2001) to contribute to the agenda setting in this field.
Furthermore we would support the inclusion of health and environment as an
element of the agenda for the Summit.
- Recognizing that the majority of the world’s population are
now living in urban areas, we underscore the importance of promoting sustainable
communities, including through local agenda 21’s. We encourage the inclusion of
these issues at the 2002 World Summit, and in this regard look forward to the
outcomes of the June 2001 special session of the UN General Assembly reviewing
the implementation of the habitat agenda (sustainable human settlements).
- We also emphasise the need to integrate environmental,
social and economic policy making, including through the elaboration and
formulation of national sustainable development strategies.
All countries should strive to mobilize their public and
private domestic resources towards this end.
We reaffirm the crucial role of partnerships between countries,
through the private sector, market based approaches, and through the
mobilization of international resources.
We commit ourselves to assume leadership in changing
unsustainable production and consumption patterns. Measures identified must be
backed by specific means of implementation.
- We stress the need for early and effective preparations at
all levels. We recognize that the engagement of civil society (citizens,
non-governmental organisations, workers and business organizations, indigenous
groups) will be critical to the success of Johannesburg Summit in 2002. Their
involvement must be assured throughout the preparatory process as well as in
implementing and monitoring its results.
- The private sector has emerged as a global actor that has a
significant impact on the environmental trends through its investment and
technology decisions. A more active involvement by business in efforts to
promote sustainable development, as well as a greater commitment to a new
culture of environmental stewardship, should be pursued.
Environmental Governance, and integration of environmental
policy into other sectorial policies
- The strengthening of international environmental governance
is important to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to implement
multilateral environmental agreements. Effective, accountable governance not
only helps to strengthen democracy and human rights, promote economic prosperity
and social cohesion, and reduce poverty, but is critical to enhance
environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources, and
deepen confidence in government and public administration.
- Furthermore, we underline that environmental considerations
should be taken into account throughout the negotiations of the next WTO round
with a view to achieving by the end of the round an overall outcome which
respects global and regional environmental committments and contributes to the
advancement of sustainable development. The new round should maximise the
potential for positive synergies between trade liberalization, environmental
protection and economic and social development, including through the phasing
out of environmentally harmful subsidies.
- The approaching WSSD should serve as a catalyst to
encourage innovative thinking, based on sound analysis and supported by
political will and high-level engagement, on cost-effective measures to advance
the coordination and implementation of existing legal and institutional
mechanisms of international environmental governance. Within this context, we
will strengthen our effort to ensure that globalization supports sustainable
- We call on internationally operating enterprises to support
the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Global Compact
Initiative of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to foster their realisation, thus
promoting and protecting human rights, labour standards and the environment in
their foreign direct investment. Relevant international institutions should
examine which activities could further these goals.
- We underline the need to improve UNEP’s coordinating role
in international environmental management and the need to foster voluntary
exchanges of information between all international environmental institutions
and bodies with a largely environmental remit, to provide coherence, in
particular on a thematic basis, among schedules, assessments, reporting
strategies and actions, mindful of autonomous nature of the separate treaties
involved; improve existing structures of co-operation between Conventions and
between their Secretariats, notably within thematic clusters; and reinforce the
links between environmental and non environmental institutions increasing the
participation of civil society.
- We welcome the UNEP Governing Council Decision (Nairobi,
February 5-9, 2001) to establish "an open-ended Intergovernmental Group to
undertake a comprehensive policy-oriented assessment of existing institutional
weakness as well as future needs and options for strengthened international
environmental governance, including the financing of UNEP". We commit to support
the process and look forward to its results feeding into the preparation for the
WSSD. The 10th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
acting as the preparatory body for the World Summit should also address the
issue in the broader context of multilateral efforts on sustainable development
with the objective of enhancing policy coherence and implementation.
- The strengthening of international environmental governance
should be based on existing structures, in particular UNEP, with its
headquarters in Nairobi, with a view to adapting them to new requirements.
- Stable, predictable and adequate funding is a prerequisite
for improving governance of international institutions. As regards UNEP, various
methods could be contemplated to achieve this. All countries should be ready to
play their part in the common effort.
- We continue to recognize the serious environmental effects
of violations of MEAs and the need to prevent them. We continue to support broad
participation in, effective implementation of, and compliance with existing
MEAs. Consideration should be given to ways of making them more effective,
including by studying which compliance mechanisms would be most appropriate. We
appreciate the ongoing activities by UNEP and the G8 Lyon Group Law Enforcement
project on Environmental Crime, particularly concerning exchange of information
and other cooperative efforts.
- We note the general orientation of donors to contribute
substantially to the third replenishment of the Global Environment Facility
(GEF) and recognize its vital role in improving and protecting the global
environment as well as in the implementation of the Rio conventions and most
recently the convention on persistent organic pollutants.
- G8 Environment Ministers stress the importance of, and the
need to promote, international, regional and global cooperation among states,
intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations, for the conservation of
biological diversity and sustainable use of its component. We endorse the
concept of sustainable development in all economic, social and ecological areas
of societal life and the concept of access to genetic resources and related
"benefit sharing" on the basis of relevant international agreements.
- The G8 countries stress the importance of capacity building
to ensure biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. We encourage countries
to improve policies, legislation, guidelines and fiscal and enforcement measures
for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
- The G8 countries also take note of the necessity to build
support for strengthened action to ensure protection and sustainable use of the
oceans and their resources and in this regard we look forward to an effective
first intergovernmental review of the global programme of action for the
protection of the marine environment, which is scheduled for November 2001 in
Environmental Guidelines for Export Credit Agencies
- Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), given their important
function in supporting export trade and facilitating investment in economic
development and infrastructure projects, can play a key leadership role in
fostering sustainable development.
ECAs should therefore take necessary actions to ensure that
environmentally negative impacts, both local and global, arising from the
projects benefiting from their support are mitigated and minimized.
- The potential of ECAs to contribute to sustainable
development needs to be fostered through a strong and effective commitment of
the international community to quickly develop and implement common binding
environmental guidelines for ECAs’ for encouraging strengthened integration of
environmental consideration in investment decisions. These common guidelines
should be based on the practices of other internationally recognized, publicly
supported multilateral finance agencies such as the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation of the
World Bank. ECAs should also adopt common measures to increase the transparency
of their decision making process, including public access to environmental
information, public consultation and consideration of relevant elements of the
recommendations of the World Commission on Dams (WCD).
- We therefore welcome and urge special effort to meet the
commitment taken by the G8 Heads of State and Government in Cologne and Okinawa
to develop common environmental guidelines for ECAs by the July, 2001 G8 Summit.
We welcome the work carried out so far within the OECD towards common approaches
on the environment and on officially supported export credits, look forward to
the report on progress of the OECD Export Credit Group (ECG) to the OECD
Ministerial Council 2001, and call for increased and urgent attention to this
issue to ensure its successful and rapid completion.
III. Environment and Health
- The protection of human health and the prevention of
environmental-related diseases are one of the fundamental objectives in our
current and future environmental policy.
Our policies should be based on the precautionary approach, as
set forth in principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,
in order to reduce adverse impacts on the environment and to address risks on
human health. We also recognize the need to promote actions aimed to an
integration of environmental and health consideration into the other
- Water quality and ensuring the safety of drinking water and
recreational water continues to be a challenge in many G8 countries and we must
also work collectively to increase access to safe drinking water and sanitation
in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition. The
improvement of water quality and the increased access to safe drinking water and
sanitation in these countries should be considered as priorities for the
cooperation policies in environmental field. We commit to improve the research,
data collection and information exchanges on environmental and health risk
assessment connected with emissions of pollutants in the environmental media,
with particular emphasis to freshwater. We confirm the provision contained in
paragraph 13 of the Communiqué of the G8 Environment Ministers meeting of Otsu
2000 regarding the security from floods, droughts and other natural hazards.
- The improvement of air quality, particularly in urban areas
affected by increasing levels of smog, particulate matter and other forms of air
pollution, continues to be an important environmental health challenge faced by
G8 and many other countries. We commit to improve the collection, assessment,
and dissemination of air quality data and to cooperate on risk assessment and
science-based approaches that reduce emissions of major air pollutants and their
transport across borders.
- G8 Environment Ministers consider food safety to be of
utmost importance. Maintenance of effective food safety systems and public
confidence in them assumes critical importance in public policy.
- We underline the importance of national and international
environment and health agencies working together to address environmental health
issues and note successes such as the policies arising from the 2nd European
Conference on Environment and Health in Helsinki and the 3rd Conference in
London in 1999. We also note with great pleasure that Health and Environment is
a theme of the March 2001 Meeting of Environment Ministers of the Americas.
We recognize the need to strengthen the co-operation between
national environment and health policy makers and to support the collaboration
among sectoral international organizations such as UNEP, FAO and WHO, as well as
the integration between international processes involving Health and Environment
matters. We also recognize the promotion of partnership among governments,
industries and other bodies and associations as a way to improve standards and
to secure benefits to public health, with particular attention to the chemicals
- We welcome the successful conclusion of the negotiations of
of the Global Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants held in December 2000.
We will increase our efforts in supporting the signature and the early entry
into force of the Convention, as well as for reducing the health and environment
impact caused by the use of these highly toxic chemicals. We are strongly
committed to supporting and facilitating the implementation of the Convention by
developing countries and countries with economies in transition through
technical and financial assistance. We also commit ourselves to implement
international projects aimed to improve our knowledge of the safe use of
chemicals; the risks that can be involved in their manufacture, release into the
environment and disposal; and the means to avoid or reduce risks. We are further
committed to promoting internationally the development of national Pollutant
Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) schemes compatible among countries, which
at a minimum have the characteristics identified in the Priorities for Action at
Forum III of the IFCS and which include a core set of chemicals (i.e. POPs
chemicals, heavy metals, ozone depleting chemicals), as a means to increase
access to information and recognizing that communities have a right-to-know
about chemicals in the environment.
- We welcome the decisions of the UNEP Governing Council to
initiate a global assessment of mercury and its compounds, and to examine the
need for a strategic approach to chemicals management.
- We reaffirm our commitment to ratify the Rotterdam
Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC) for Certain Hazardous
Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
Environmental health of children and other particularly
- Protecting the health of our children is a shared
fundamental value. We recognize the special vulnerability of children to
environmental threats and are committed to working together to do our utmost to
remove those threats. We recognize that poverty and insufficient protection from
environmental threats are often found in tandem. We will work together to
address the most serious environmental health threats, including microbiological
and chemical contaminants in drinking water, air pollution that exacerbates
illness and death from asthma and other respiratory problems, polluted water,
toxic substances and pesticides.
We recall the attention of the G8 Members on the protection of
the health of particularly vulnerable categories of people such as children, the
elderly, pregnant women, and persons who are immunocompromised exposed to
environmental-related health risks, indigenous people who rely directly on the
natural environment for food and shelter, and of those populations affected by
severe diseases related to the poverty.
- We attach high importance to the Declaration of the
Environment Leaders of the eight on Children’s Environmental Health, 1997, and
to "the special vulnerability of children and reproductive health to
environmental threats" as contained in the WHO/UNECE Declaration of London on
Environment and Health of June 1999 and in the North American Commission for
Environmental Cooperation Council Resolution on Children’s Health and the
Environment of June 2000.
- We recommit ourselves to take initiative for a rapid
implementation of the two Declarations our own countries, in developing
countries and in countries with economies in transition. We look forward to the
joint Italy-US international workshop to be held in Rome in November 2001 on the
development of strategies to address childhood asthma. We also encourage
participation in the Children’s Environmental Health II: A Global Forum for
Action taking place in September 2001, Washington DC and in the UNICEF Special
Summit on Children in New York.
- In this regard we underline the related risks associated
with air pollution in urban areas, and we recognise the relevant role of all
levels of government and of the national and regional initiatives towards
promoting more sustainable cities. We note the particular importance of traffic
and transport in contributing to air quality deterioration, in developing and
developed countries alike, and stress the need to ensure the integration of
urban and regional planning and national innovation policy in the transportation
sector within the environment and health debate. These issues confront
developing and developed countries alike.
- We look forward to continuing our cooperation and dialogue
on this important issue.
IV. Edict of the Taliban leadership on destruction of
all statues and shrines in Afghanistan
- Mindful that the diversity of natural and human systems is
at the core of sustainable development, we express dismay and shock at reports
of the edict of the Taliban leadership ordering the destruction of all statues
and shrines in Afghanistan. We strongly urge the Taliban leadership not to
implement this deeply tragic decision and fully support the efforts of UNESCO to
this end. Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage is of vital importance not only
to the people of the Afghanistan but also to the world as a whole.
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