Johannesburg Summit Sets an Action Agenda for RE, etc.

In the face of growing poverty and increasing environmental degradation, the World Summit has succeeded in generating a sense of urgency, commitments for action and partnerships to achieve measurable results, according to Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai.

Johannesburg, South Africa – September 5, 2002 [] The Summit is expected to adopt the ten-chapter Plan of Implementation, aimed at detailing the actions needed to fight poverty and protect the environment, at its final session. The document was negotiated in meetings held in New York, Bali, and finally Johannesburg. By any standard, participation and interest in the Summit has been high. The 104 Heads of State and Government that took part in the Summit were joined by more than 21,000 people, including more than 9,000 delegates, 8,000 NGOs and 4,000 members of the press. As a result of the Summit, governments agreed on a series of commitments in five priority areas that were backed up by specific government announcements on programs, and by partnership initiatives. More than 220 partnerships, representing US$235 million in resources, were identified during the Summit process to complement the government commitments, and many more were announced outside of the formal Summit proceedings. In energy, Desai said countries committed themselves to expanding access to the two billion people that do not have access to modern energy services. In addition, he added that while countries did not agree on a target for phasing in Renewable Energy, they did commit to green energy and the phase out of subsidies for types of energy that are not consistent with sustainable development. And to bolster these commitments, a group of nine major electric companies signed agreements to undertake sustainable energy project in developing countries. In addition, the EU announced a US$700 million partnership initiative on energy and the US announced investments of up to US$43 million for energy in 2003. “It’s impossible to know just how many resources the Summit has mobilized,” Desai said, “but we know they are substantial. Furthermore, many of the new resources will attract additional resources that will greatly enhance our efforts to take sustainable development to the next level, where it will benefit more people and protect more of our environment.”
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