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Green Summit

What has been achieved in Johannesburg?

The EU has consistently worked for an ambitious action-oriented outcome with clear and measurable objectives, directed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. We have achieved this in a number of important areas. 

  • There are first of all a number of new targets with regard of access to basic sanitation, and with regard of the production and use of all chemicals. There is a commitment to halt the loss of biodiversity and to halt the decline of fish stocks, and to begin implementation of national strategies on sustainable development.

  • Energy has been high on the agenda throughout the negotiations. Although it was not possible to get a specific target for the renewable energy sources, there is an agreement to increase urgently and substantially the global share of renewable energy sources. We also agreed to take joint actions to improve access of energy to the poor. Those agreements will be regularly evaluated and progress will be reviewed. 

  • In addition, the EU has launched a coalition of governments who are willing to set themselves targets and timeframes for the increase of renewables in the energy mix. 

  • There is an agreement, based on the EU proposal, for the development of a 10-year framework for programs on sustainable consumption and production. Industrialised countries have agreed to take the lead in this global effort to correct current unsustainable patterns and help developing countries put in place policies and tools to this end. 

  • This World Summit has also been very important with regard to climate change and the Kyoto protocol. Parties to the Protocol recommitted here to the ratification and entry into force at the earliest possible date, and others are urged to join as soon as possible. 

  • On globalisation, the Summit has agreed concrete actions to enhance the role of trade for sustainable development, for example by encouraging trade in environmentally friendly and organic products from developing countries and by strengthening international action for corporate responsibility. 

  • A new feature among the outcomes of this international Summit is the launching of the partnerships. It was the first time that at the international and multilateral level of the United Nations, partnerships have been recognised as a useful complementary tool for implementation. 

  •  A wide range of partnerships - more than 200 - have been launched at the Summit, covering themes like water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. These partnerships will bring with them additional resources and expertise, and will help to mobilise action at all levels. The partnerships provide an excellent occasion for business to concretely engage in sustainable development with stakeholders and governments and to demonstrate that sustainable development efforts by business are no longer anecdotal. 

  • The EU has launched two partnerships, one on water and sanitation and one on energy for the poor. The EU Water initiative , which is called "Water for Life", will better coordinate existing financing mechanisms. The focus will be to increase the transfer of knowledge through institutional capacity building, targeted research and scientific cooperation. Within this new framework we have already reached "Water for Life" agreements with Africa, Latin America, Mediterranean countries, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. 

The EU Energy initiative aims to improve the access to adequate, affordable and sustainable energy services. Without energy people will never get out of poverty, but if we continue on current energy paths, climate change and environmental and health problems at the local level will continue. That is why this initiative will focus on energy sources that both provide for growth and protection of the environment. Nuclear will naturally not be part of the initiative.

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