People, Trade & the Environment
Tools & Information for Activists


June 19, 2003

1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)

  • FARM EXPORTS, CHEAP GENERIC DRUGS TO TOP WTO TALKS IN EGYPT
  • PETTIGREW TO ATTEND WTO INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETING IN EGYPT
  • UN BODY WARNS OF WTO TALKS COLLAPSE
  • EXPERTS CRITICISE WTO ON TRANSPARENCY
  • WTO SETS UP ADVISORY BODIES WITH BUSINESS, NGOs TO BOOST DIALOGUE
  • WTO WANTS US TO REPEAL ANTIDUMPING BYRD AMENDMENT
  • US FILES WTO ACTION AGAINST MEXICO
  • UN RELEASES STUDY ON SERVICES
  • NGOS NEED TO BE PROTECTED AT THE SERVICES NEGOTIATIONS
  • AFRICA AWAITS WTO RESPONSE TO DRUG PROPOSAL
  • CIVIL SOCIETY STEPS UP EFFORTS AGAINST A WTO INVESTMENT AGREEMENT
  • [NAIROBI] GOVERNMENT CAUTIONED ON PRIVATISATION OF WATER
  • REPORT ON MEETING WITH MEXICAN NGO COORDINATOR FOR CANCUN MINISTERIAL
  • MINI-MINISTERIAL SET FOR MONTREAL
  • US POSITION ON WTO AG NEGOTIATIONS
  • SACRAMENTO MOBILIZATION
  • EU PRIORITIES FOR CANCUN


2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

  • GE DEBATE MOVES TO WTO STAGE
  • EU RESPONSE TO US WTO CASE ON GMO
  • US GMO COALITION CRUMBLING: NGO
  • US POLICING OF BIOTECH CROPS DENOUNCED
  • UN TREATY REGULATING BIOTECH CROPS TO BECOME LAW
  • TREATY REAFFIRMS RIGHTS OF NATIONS TO SET GMO REGULATIONS
  • AFRICAN GROUPS CONDEMN US STAND ON GMO
  • WTO AGREEMENT ON AGRICULTURE SILENT ON GMOS
  • US FDA EXPECTED TO OK FIRST BIOTECH ASTHMA DRUG
  • GM DECAFFEINATED COFFEE PLANTS PRODUCED


3. IMF (International Monetary Fund) & The World Bank

  • DEBATING THE WASHINGTON CONSENSUS
  • WORLD BANK LOAN TO COMPLETE CONSOLIDATED COPPER MINES PRIVATISATION


4. FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) & NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)

  • NEW BOSS AT CEC
  • LULA SURPRISES FRIENDS AND FOES
  • TRADE REPS FROM THE AMERICAS SPLIT ON FREE TRADE ZONE SCHEDULE
  • CRISIS IN FTAA NEGOTIATIONS TRIGGERS SECRET, INVITATION-ONLY “MINI0MINISTERIAL” AT EXCLUSIVE CHESAPEAKE BAY ENCLAVE
  • CANADIAN CONSULTATIONS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF CAFTA


5. Energy

  • GROUP AIMS TO TAKE POLITICS OUT OF ENERGY POLICY
  • GEPHARDT VOWS TO END US FOREIGN OIL ADDICTION
  • INTERNATIONAL CARBON SEQUESTRATION LEADERSHIP FORUM, JUNE 23-25
  • TRANS-ATLANTIC FUEL CELL DEVELOPMENT PACT SIGNED
  • US SENATE APPROVES OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION
  • RICH COUNTRIES’ GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BALLOONING
  • PUBLIC HEARING ON GSX PIPELINE IN GEORGIA STRAIT
  • OPTIONS FOR OFFSETS: CANADIAN GOV’T MEETS WITH STAKEHOLDERS
  • MARTIN PRESSED ON KYOTO PLANS
  • US OIL GIANT FACES COURT BATTLE OVER BURMA VIOLATIONS


6. Environment

  • CANADA NATIVE GROUP OPPOSES FALCONBRIDGE MINE PLAN
  • DEPLETED URANIUM - WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION
  • GLOBAL BYCATCH NETS SOME 308,000 CETACEANS A YEAR
  • WHALES WIN NO SANCTUARY FROM ACRIMONIOUS COMMISSION
  • INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FRESHWATER 2003
  • CANADIAN REPORT ON THIRD WORLD WATER FORUM
  • GROUP CALLS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS BEFORE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THREE GORGES
  • CANADAIAN ASSISTANCE FOR ORGANIC STANDARDIZATION
  • CANADA RATIFIES ANTARCTIC TREATY
  • THIBAULT HOSTS 8TH ANNUAL NORTH ATLANTIC FISHERIES MINISTERS CONFERENCE
  • CANNED TUNA MERCURY RISKIER THAM PREVIOUSLY SUSPECTED
  • WE’RE FISHING OUT THE SEA, CROSBIE WARNS


7. Other

  • US RELEASES STANCE ON SOFTWOOD TRADE
  • BEEF EXPORTS TO THE US BOGGED DOWN
  • KANANASKIS FIGURES RELEASED
  • IMPACT OF INVESTMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS


8. Glossary



People, Trade and the Environment is a publication of the Sierra Club of Canada.This digest is available on-line at http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/trade-env/people-trade-environment/

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the publication of this digest. For information or comments, to subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact: Sarah Dover, sdover@magma.ca



1. WTO (World Trade Organisation)

BACK


FARM EXPORTS, CHEAP GENERIC DRUGS TO TOP WTO TALKS IN EGYPT

The News International, June 19, 2003

CAIRO: Egypt prepared on Wednesday to host ministers from some 30 countries in a bid to bridge gaps over farm exports and cheap generic drugs under the troubled Doha round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations….The talks will be held from Friday through Sunday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh as part of the runup to a full ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico in September, a mid-term review of the three-year Doha round….Expected to attend the meeting this weekend will be trade and other ministers from the European Union, the United States, China, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Singapore and South Africa, as well as many other countries.

http://jang.com.pk/thenews/jun2003-daily/19-06-2003/business/b10.htm

PETTIGREW TO ATTEND WTO INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETING IN EGYPT

DFAIT Press Release, June 17, 2003

Media representatives are advised that International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew will attend an informal meeting of trade ministers from World Trade Organization (WTO) member states, in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, from June 20 to 22. [Media teleconference on June 22]

http://webapps.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.asp?FileSpec=/Min_Pub_Docs/106262.htm&Language=E

UN BODY WARNS OF WTO TALKS COLLAPSE

AFP, June 17, 2003

The WTO’s ambitious round of trade liberalization talks is “at serious risk of collapsing” because of a series of missed deadlines since the round was launched 19 months ago, a UN body warned yesterday. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) also said developing nations could stand to see real income reduced by a massive US$32 billion should the floundering negotiations on the Doha development agenda fail.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2003/06/17/2003055624

EXPERTS CRITICISE WTO ON TRANSPARENCY

The Nation (Nairobi), June 19, 2003

African trade experts have criticised the World Trade Organisation for lack of transparency in its processes. They said this had perpetuated the marginalisation of the continent, especially in the multilateral trade regime, said the experts, who are in Mauritius for the first African Union Trade Ministers’ meeting.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200306190055.html

WTO SETS UP ADVISORY BODIES WITH BUSINESS, NGOs TO BOOST DIALOGUE

WTO Reporter, by Daniel Pruzin, June 17, 2003

World Trade Organization Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi has set up two new informal advisory bodies with business and non- governmental organizations (NGOs) to facilitate dialogue on issues of common interest. Supachai told the opening session of a WTO public symposium June 16 that he hoped the informal bodies, set up on his personal initiative, would “add to further transparency and understanding on the complexities of the WTO.” He noted that both bodies, which are expected to meet twice a year, held “very constructive preliminary meetings” the previous day….Two NGOs, Oxfam International and Friends of the Earth, refused an invitation from Supachai to take part in the advisory group, claiming it was not representative enough of the NGO community.

http://www.tradeobservatory.org/news/index.cfm?ID=4486

WTO WANTS US TO REPEAL ANTIDUMPING BYRD AMENDMENT

Kyodo News International, June 14, 2003

A World Trade Organization (WTO) arbitrator urged the United States on Friday to repeal a controversial law that allows the government to share antidumping duties with affected domestic industries by Dec. 27.

http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR200306161180.3_2fa90003e82b38e0

US FILES WTO ACTION AGAINST MEXICO

Reuters, June 16, 2003 The United States said on Monday it has begun legal action at the World Trade Organization to overturn anti-dumping duties imposed by Mexico on U.S. beef and rice imports worth hundreds of millions of dollars….Agricultural trade tensions between the United States and Mexico have intensified this year, as most remaining tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement were lifted.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=2937277

UN RELEASES STUDY ON SERVICES

“NEW UNCTAD STUDY ON NEGOTIATING OBJECTIVES AND DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES”, UNCTAD Press Release, June 5, 2003

UNCTAD«s timely new study on the energy and environmental services sectors is intended to help policy makers and trade negotiators get a better understanding of what is at stake in the ongoing GATS negotiations at the WTO on these two services sectors.

http://www.unctad.org/Templates/webflyer.asp?docid=3626&intItemID=1634&lang=1

NGOS NEED TO BE PROTECTED AT THE SERVICES NEGOTIATIONS

“When Worlds Collide: Canada’s non-profit social services need to be protected in the new round of trade agreements”, CCPA/CCSD Report, June 16, 2003

A new study jointly released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) has concluded that government support for non-profit social services could be at risk despite Canadian government assurances that social policies will not be adversely affected by international trade obligations. “The problem,” says co-author Andrew Jackson, “is that US and other transnational corporations see social services as a new world of opportunities for profit, and trade rules as the means to gain entry.” Trade tribunals could side with corporations, says Jackson, and rule that public policy measures to support non-profit services unfairly inhibit the ability of commercial firms to establish operations in Canada.

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

AFRICA AWAITS WTO RESPONSE TO DRUG PROPOSAL

“African Group’s pressure on WTO”, Hoovers, June 13, 2003

The African Group in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is still waiting for the organisationÕs approval of its proposal for a revision of Article 27.3(b) of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property dealing with the controversial patents on life forms (Trips). The proposal formally asks the WTO, which met on 4 June, to prohibit patents on plants, animals, micro-organisms, essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals, and the non-biological and microbiological processes for the production of plants or animals.

http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20030613670.2_f1e7000e55620335

CIVIL SOCIETY STEPS UP EFFORTS AGAINST A WTO INVESTMENT AGREEMENT

EurActiv, June 11, 2003

In a coordinated effort and only three months ahead of the Cancun WTO meeting, civil society groups have begun a lobbying campaign to block the launch of WTO investment negotiations.Ê

http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/398453-161?204&OIDN=1505676&-home=home

[NAIROBI] GOVERNMENT CAUTIONED ON PRIVATISATION OF WATER

The East African Standard (Nairobi), by Zablon Odhiambo, June 19, 2003

The Government has been urged to examine carefully its intended privatisation of water services. A forum convened to re-assess the impacts of the 1994 World Trade Organisation (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (Gats) observed that privatisation of water services would have negative implications on the poor in the country.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200306190106.html

REPORT ON MEETING WITH MEXICAN NGO COORDINATOR FOR CANCUN MINISTERIAL

Public Citizen, June 18, 2003

A meeting held at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC on June 18th provided NGOs planniong to attend the WTO Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico useful information on plans beinging made by the Mexican Organizing. The following notes from that meeting are from Timi Gerson of Public Citizen.

http://www.tradeobservatory.org/news/index.cfm?ID=4495

MINI-MINISTERIAL SET FOR MONTREAL

“Last WTO ‘Mini-Ministerial’ Meeting Before Cancun Set for July 28-30

in Montreal”, by Gary G. Yerkey, Bureau of National Affairs

U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick plans to travel to Montreal in late July to meet with trade ministers from other members of the World Trade Organization to help pave the way for agreement on key issues such as agriculture in the ongoing WTO trade talks, sources said June 5. The sources, who asked not to be identified, said that the meetingscheduled for July 28-30will be the last informal “mini-ministerial” to be held prior to the full-fledged WTO ministerial conference set for Sept. 10-14 in Cancun, Mexico.

http://www.ourworldisnotforsale.org/wto/Updates/13.htm

US POSITION ON WTO AG NEGOTIATIONS

Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, by Daryll E. Ray, June 17, 2003

Agricultural issues are sure to be a significant part of the agenda when WTO members meet September 10-14, 2003 in Cancun, Mexico for the Fifth Ministerial Conference….The Bush Administration summarizes its goals for these negotiations based on three principles: 1) Level the playing field, 2: Eliminate barriers, and 3) Grow markets. An examination of the specific proposals shows clear strategies for achieving the first two, while it seems to be a matter of faith that if the first two are achieved, the third will take care of itself.

http://www.tradeobservatory.org/news/index.cfm?ID=4488

SACRAMENTO MOBILIZATION

June 20-25: Peace, Global Justice and Democracy Movements Unite in Sacramento to Confront the Corporate Take-Over of Food, Communities and the Future

Protest the Sacramento Corporate Agriculture Ministerial!

http://sacmobilization.org/

EU PRIORITIES FOR CANCUN

“Speech to the EU Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC)”, by Pascal Lamy, EU Trade Commissioner, 13 June 2003

…For this the next Ministerial Conference in September in Cancun must be a success. For Cancun, the key areas where agreements are needed are: On agriculture, industrial market access, investment, competition, trade facilitation and government procurement, we need to decide on the negotiating modalities. We also need to put together a package of results with real value added for developing countries and making further progress after Cancun. On Geographical Indications, Trade and environment and Dispute Settlement, Cancun should start delivering results, albeit sometimes in rather moderate ways, and point towards the final outcome.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/commissioners/lamy/speeches_articles/spla172_en.htm



2. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

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GE DEBATE MOVES TO WTO STAGE

Reuters

Talks between the United States and the European Union to end a trade dispute over genetically-modified goods have failed, and America will challenge the EU’s policy at the World Trade Organisation, the Bush administration said. The United States and EU were meeting this week and holding consultations which the US trade representative said “have not resulted in any changes to the EU’s five-year-old illegal and unscientific moratorium” on approvals of new biotech goods.

http://onebusiness.nzoom.com/onebusiness_detail/0,1245,199294-3-168,00.html

EU RESPONSE TO US WTO CASE ON GMO

“WTO case on GMOs”, EU Trade, 17 June 2003

The EU dismisses the decision to take the GMO issue to WTO dispute settlement as legally misguided, economically unfounded and politically unhelpful.

The treatment of genetically-modified material is a multi-faceted matter of high social, economic and political concern all throughout the world. Trying to depict this issue as a mere commercial matter is clearly a reduction of a complex situation to a single question.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/trade/goods/agri/pr170603_en.htm

US GMO COALITION CRUMBLING: NGO

“transatlantic trade war: us-led coalition starts to crumble as europe stands firm”, FOEI Press Release, June 18, 2003

The aggressive attempt by the US administration to force genetically modified (GM) foods into the European Union (EU) is starting to weaken, according to Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest environmental grassroots network. For the first time since the trade war started last month, the two sides will meet tomorrow June 19 in Geneva, as part of an official consultation process at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

http://www.foei.org/media/2003/0618.html

US POLICING OF BIOTECH CROPS DENOUNCED

ENS, June 18, 2003

Federal government agencies are failing to monitor genetically engineered crops to protect the environment and public health, according to two separate studies released today.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2003/2003-06-18-06.asp

UN TREATY REGULATING BIOTECH CROPS TO BECOME LAW

FOEI Press Release, June 13, 2003

An international treaty that seeks to protect the environment from the potential risks of Genetically Modified (GM) organisms will officially become law in 90 days from today.

The United Nations treaty, known as ‘Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety’, or Biosafety Protocol, had to be ratified by fifty countries before entering into force.

http://www.foei.org/media/2003/0613.html

TREATY REAFFIRMS RIGHTS OF NATIONS TO SET GMO REGULATIONS

“IATP Applauds International Ratification of UN Biosafety Treaty”, Press Release from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, June 16, 2003

Late last week, the Pacific nation of Palau became the 50th country to sign the United Nation’s Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The signature triggers a 90-day countdown, with the treaty coming into force on September 11, 2003. The Biosafety Protocol, which follows the precautionary principle and empowers nation’s to regulate GMO foods, could run into direct conflict with how another international institution, the World Trade Organization, handles GMOs.

http://www.iatp.org/iatp/library/admin/uploadedfiles/IATP_Applauds_International_Ratification_of_UN.htm

AFRICAN GROUPS CONDEMN US STAND ON GMO

“African Groups Condemn Bush Administration’s WTO Challenge of European GMO Policies; GMOs Not Answer to African Hunger; On Eve of USDA Sacramento Biotech Ministerial, African Voices Counter Bush Claims About GMOs and African Hunger”,

Public Citizen Press Release, June 18, 2003

An African hunger expert and a prominent African consumer leader are condemning the Bush administration’s challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO) of European policies on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), saying that GMOs are not the answer to African hunger and noting that Zambia has pulled itself out of a food crisis without accepting GMO food aid.

http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=1464

WTO AGREEMENT ON AGRICULTURE SILENT ON GMOS

The Herald (Harare), June 19, 2003

MEMBER countries of the World Trade Organisation meet in Cancun, Mexico in less than two months without an agreement on how to deal with trade matters relating to Genetically Modified Food. What makes the issue more complex is that WTO agreement on agriculture is silent on GMOs. Delegates to a WTO conference held early this year in Geneva, Switzerland agreed that GMO food should not be imposed on member countries.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200306190252.html

US FDA EXPECTED TO OK FIRST BIOTECH ASTHMA DRUG

Reuters, June 18, 2003

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected later this week to approve the first biotechnology treatment for asthma.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/21223/newsDate/18-Jun-2003/story.htm

GM DECAFFEINATED COFFEE PLANTS PRODUCED

Reuters, June 19, 2003

…Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan have produced genetically modified coffee plants they say have less caffeine but taste just as good as the real thing.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/21234/newsDate/19-Jun-2003/story.htm



3. IMF (International Monetary Fund) & The World Bank

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DEBATING THE WASHINGTON CONSENSUS

“World Bank, NGOs suggest new emphasis on social issues”, World Bank Web Site, June 19, 2003

The so-called Washington Consensus on market-oriented policy measures and macro economic balance either failed to achieve expected results in terms of growth and poverty reduction or was interpreted from an ideological point of view in many developing countries, a group of experts and analysts agreed at an international roundtable hosted by the World Bank last week in Paris.

WORLD BANK LOAN TO COMPLETE CONSOLIDATED COPPER MINES PRIVATISATION

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks , June 19, 2003

The World Bank has approved a US $10 million credit to Zambia to complete the privatisation of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM)…. The production of copper, Zambia’s main export commodity, has been declining since 1970. Output fell from over 680,000 mt in 1970 to 260,000 mt in 2000 as a result of lack of investment and poor maintenance of equipment, erosion of assets and periodic low international copper prices.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200306190490.html



4. FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) & NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)

BACK


NEW BOSS AT CEC

“Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America Announces New Executive Director”, CEC Press Release, June 19, 2003

The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is pleased to announce the appointment of William V. Kennedy, Ph.D., to a three-year term as the new Executive Director of the Secretariat of the CEC. The term will begin on 2 September 2003.

http://www.cec.org/news/details/index.cfm?varlan=english&ID=2540

LULA SURPRISES FRIENDS AND FOES

New York Times, by the Council on Foreign Relations, June 12, 2003

Kenneth R. Maxwell, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Director of Latin America Studies, says that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s left-leaning president who is known as Lula, has surprised friends and foes alike by adopting a conservative economic policy. But opposition to Lula’s market-oriented approach, which he says is aimed at putting Brazil on the path to economic recovery, is growing in his Workers’ Party.

http://www.tradeobservatory.org/News/index.cfm?ID=4483

TRADE REPS FROM THE AMERICAS SPLIT ON FREE TRADE ZONE SCHEDULE

Agence France Presse, June 15, 2003

With trade representatives from the Americas split on when to achieve a hemispheric free trade zone a key US policy goal Central American negotiators prepare for an important round of trade talks Monday with US officials. Following a meeting at a retreat outside Washington, trade officials from 14 countries from across the Americas were divided on implementing a planned free trade zone designed to stretch from Alaska to southern Argentina, a market of 823 million people.

http://www.tradeobservatory.org/news/index.cfm?ID=4491

CRISIS IN FTAA NEGOTIATIONS TRIGGERS SECRET, INVITATION-ONLY “MINI0MINISTERIAL” AT EXCLUSIVE CHESAPEAKE BAY ENCLAVE

“Bad Process, Bad Results: Session to Determine Scope, Deadline for FTAA Excludes Half of the Nations in the Hemisphere”, Public Citizen Press Release, June 12, 2003

A “mini-ministerial” including only 15 of the 34 nations involved in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations marks a new low in controversial talks that already have faced attacks from legislators and citizens from around the hemisphere as lacking transparency and inclusiveness, Public Citizen said today. The United States has pushed the FTAA talks to be an expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) while other countries in the hemisphere have raised concerns about the NAFTA model. Negotiations have become gridlocked.

http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=1456

CANADIAN CONSULTATIONS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF CAFTA

“Initial Environmental Assessment of the Canada-Central America Four Free Trade (CA-4) Negotiations”, DFAIT Press Release

In keeping with the Framework for Conducting Environmental Assessments of Trade Negotiations, an environmental assessment (EA) of the Canada-Central America Four (Canada-CA-4) free trade negotiations is being conducted to help negotiators to better integrate environmental considerations into the negotiating process….Send your contributions by August 18, 2003…

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/tna-nac/consult1-en.asp#c4



5. Energy

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GROUP AIMS TO TAKE POLITICS OUT OF ENERGY POLICY

ENS, by J.R. Pegg, June 18, 2003

Another independent group waded into the U.S. energy debate today, adding another report to a growing pile of recommendations on how the nation should reduce its dependence on oil and chart a new energy future. But the Energy Future Coalition is adamant that its blueprint to revamp the nation’s energy policy contains something that many others do not - broad political support.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2003/2003-06-18-10.asp

GEPHARDT VOWS TO END US FOREIGN OIL ADDICTION

ENS, June 18, 2003

Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt says the United States must end its dependence on foreign oil and needs an energy policy that makes “tough choices.” The Missouri Congressman outlined his plan to achieve that goal Tuesday, a policy that he believes can protect the environment and create two million new jobs.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2003/2003-06-18-11.asp

INTERNATIONAL CARBON SEQUESTRATION LEADERSHIP FORUM, JUNE 23-25

State Department Press Release, June 18, 2003

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, hosted by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Energy, will be held June 23-24, 2003, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tysons Corner, Virginia. The Forum will conclude Wednesday, June 25, in Washington, D.C., with a charter signing ceremony at the Mayflower Hotel. The charter will set forth a framework for international cooperation in research and development for the separation, capture, transportation and storage of carbon dioxide as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2003/21709.htm

TRANS-ATLANTIC FUEL CELL DEVELOPMENT PACT SIGNED

ENS, June 16, 2003

The United States and the European Union today signed a cooperation agreement to develop fuel cell technology. The seven point plan, brokered by European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin and the U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, aims to strengthen research by bringing together European and U.S. researchers from public and private sectors. Key challenges for fuel cells to become commercially competitive are cost reduction, improved performance and durability.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2003/2003-06-16-04.asp

US SENATE APPROVES OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION

ENS, by J.R. Pegg, June 12, 2003

The Senate voted today to keep a provision within its version of the Energy bill that calls for a comprehensive inventory of the nation’s offshore oil and gas resources. Critics of the measure fear it is the first step toward lifting a 20 year ban on offshore drilling in many of the nation’s coastal waters and could harm the environment and the economies of affected coastal states.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2003/2003-06-12-10.asp

RICH COUNTRIES’ GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BALLOONING

ENS, June 9, 2003

The emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from Europe, Japan, the United States and other industrialized countries could grow by 17 percent from 2000 to 2010, despite measures in place to curb them, according to a new United Nations report. Greenhouse gases blanket the Earth, trapping the Sun’s heat close to the planet’s surface.

Based on projections provided by the governments themselves, the report is under consideration at a two week meeting of the UN Climate Change Convention’s 190 member governments that opened at the Maritim Hotel in Bonn Wednesday. It is intended to help governments plan their future climate change strategies.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2003/2003-06-09-02.asp

PUBLIC HEARING ON GSX PIPELINE IN GEORGIA STRAIT

“Georgia Strait Crossing Joint Review Panel to hold one day public hearing on a Notice of Motion”, NEB Press Release, June 12, 2003

The Joint Review Panel for the Georgia Strait Crossing Canada Pipeline Project has decided to hear oral argument on a Motion by the GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition (GSXCCC). Argument will be heard on 23 June 2003 at the Coast Bastion Inn, 11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, B.C., commencing at 8 a.m.

http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/newsroom/releases/2003/nr0317_e.htm

OPTIONS FOR OFFSETS: CANADIAN GOV’T MEETS WITH STAKEHOLDERS

“Designing a Greenhouse Gas Offsets System for Canada”, Government of Canada Press Release

Representatives of the Government of Canada will be meeting with officials from the provinces and territories, municipalities, and other key stakeholders during the month of June, 2003 to discuss design options for a Canadian offsets system for greenhouse gases (GHGs), as envisioned in the Climate Change Plan for Canada.

http://www.climatechange.gc.ca/english/publications/offsets/index.html

MARTIN PRESSED ON KYOTO PLANS

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, HANSARD, June 13, 2003

Mr. James Rajotte (Edmonton Southwest, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, in the Liberal leadership debate last Saturday, the front-runner, the former finance minister, told the party faithful that he would have held off adopting Kyoto targets until there was a plan on how Canada could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This former minister also told the Edmonton Journal editorial board that: What they did was to simply ratify Kyoto without a plan, then start to work on it. You see where we are four months later, we still don’t have a plan. What a revelation. The Canadian Alliance has been raising concerns for years that there is no implementation plan.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/118_2003-06-13/han118_1115-E.htm#SOB-615478

US OIL GIANT FACES COURT BATTLE OVER BURMA VIOLATIONS

The Independant/UK, by Andrew Gumbel, June 19, 2003

One of America’s most powerful oil conglomerates looks likely to get its comeuppance in court over its overseas business practices after spreading a trail of misery through a small rainforest village in the Tenasserim region of Burma in November 1994. When the Union Oil Company of California, or Unocal, started working on a gas pipeline project there, it contracted out security operations to the Burmese military regime; and that was when the horror began.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0619-04.htm



6. Environment

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CANADA NATIVE GROUP OPPOSES FALCONBRIDGE MINE PLAN

Reuters, June 16, 2003

A Canadian aboriginal group said last week it was protesting plans by nickel producer Falconbridge Ltd. (FL.TO) to drain water from its proposed Montcalm mine into a river that supplies communities with drinking water. The Moose Cree First Nation said it would demand a meeting with the government of Ontario and Toronto-based Falconbridge, the world’s third-largest nickel producer, to find a solution to the matter.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/21196/newsDate/16-Jun-2003/story.htm

DEPLETED URANIUM - WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Indymedia, June 19 2003

As used by the USA in Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Okinawa, Scotland and testing ranges on mainland USA. Professor Doug Rokke outlines ‘Depleted Uranium: uses and hazards’….In 2003 the Pentagon and UN have estimated up to 2,200 tons of depleted uranium were used in Iraq, much of it in urban areas….It is likely that hundreds of thousands of civilians will be affected in future by depleted uranium in the environment. It should be seen as the new nuclear threat.

http://www.indymedia.org/

GLOBAL BYCATCH NETS SOME 308,000 CETACEANS A YEAR

ENS, June 12, 2003

Some 308,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises - collectively known as cetaceans - die each year from entanglement in fishing gear, finds new research by U.S. and British scientists. The study, which was submitted today to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), is the first global estimate of cetacean deaths caused by fishing bycatch.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2003/2003-06-12-11.asp

WHALES WIN NO SANCTUARY FROM ACRIMONIOUS COMMISSION

ENS, June 19, 2003

The annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission wound up today with the 51 member organization more deeply divided than ever. The body responsible for management of the world’s whales passed the Berlin Initiative to set up a conservation committee by a simple majority vote, but proposals for two whale sanctuaries that required a three-quarters majority to pass both were turned down.

http://ens-news.com/ens/jun2003/2003-06-19-01.asp

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FRESHWATER 2003

“International Year of Freshwater 2003 the Unifying Force of Water”, The Independent (Accra), June 16, 2003

As the world celebrates the international year of freshwater this year, sight cannot be lost on the fact that most water bodies the world over ran through more than one country, which fact brings about conflicts as well as cooperation between such countries….There are 263 international basins that cross the political boundaries of two or more countries. These basins, in which approximately 40 per cent of the world’s population live, cover nearly one-half of the earth’s surface area and account for an estimated 60 per cent of global freshwater flow.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200306190521.html

CANADIAN REPORT ON THIRD WORLD WATER FORUM

“Third World Water Forum and Ministerial Conference Ð Report and Outcomes”, Environment Canada Press Release

http://www.ec.gc.ca/water/en/info/events/wwf-rep/e_contnt.htm

GROUP CALLS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS BEFORE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THREE GORGES

International Rivers Network Press Release, June 12, 2003 The China Three Gorges Project Corporation has just opened a second major round of bidding for four turbine and generating units for the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. International Rivers Network calls on Western governments and companies to refrain from extending further support for the project as long as its serious resettlement and human rights problems have not been resolved.

http://www.irn.org/programs/threeg/index.asp?id=030612.bidding.html

CANADAIAN ASSISTANCE FOR ORGANIC STANDARDIZATION

“NATIONAL ORGANIC ACCREDITATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (NOAAP)”, AAF Web Site

This program is to assist Canadian organic agriculture certifying bodies become accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) or by an organization with a partnership agreement with the SCC to certify Canadian organic products to the Organic Agriculture National Standard of Canada under ISO/IEC Guide 65, CAN-P-3G and CAN-P-1500J. Applicants must be legal entities under Canadian law. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will pay 50% of the SCC application costs, up to $25,000, to certifying bodies which become successfully accredited by December 31, 2003. NOAAP will not reimburse or match any SCC costs that have been paid by other government organizations.

http://www.agr.gc.ca/card-fcadr/national_initiatives/noaap.phtml

CANADA RATIFIES ANTARCTIC TREATY

37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION, HANSARD, June 13, 2003

Mr. Alan Tonks (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to Bill C-42. Bill C-42 is enabling legislation that will allow Canada to ratify the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, commonly known as the Madrid protocol. Since signing the protocol in 1991, Canada has been committed to its ratification. By doing so, Canada will be joining the other 29 nations that have ratified the protocol. It will commit the country to the protection of this unique ecosystem, from which we can learn a great deal about the world’s environment….(Motion agreed to, bill deemed read a second time, deemed referred to committee, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in, deemed read a third time and passed)

http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/118_2003-06-13/han118_1005-E.htm#SOB-615091

THIBAULT HOSTS 8TH ANNUAL NORTH ATLANTIC FISHERIES MINISTERS CONFERENCE

DFO Press Release, June 16, 2003

The Honourable Robert G. Thibault, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, will host ministers and representatives from the European Union, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and the Russian Federation for the 8th annual North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference (NAFMC) in Halifax from June 16 to June 18. The main theme of the conference is the “Implementation of the United Nations Fish Agreement Ð A Framework for the North Atlantic”. The United Nations Fish Agreement (UNFA) provides a framework for the conservation and management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks. As host, Minister Thibault will deliver an Opening Address which will be followed by a presentation entitled, “Implementation of UNFA Ð A Canadian Perspective.” These related themes Ð Compatibility of Measures, Regulation of Deep Sea Species and Moving Forward Ð will also dominate the agenda.

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/newsrel/2003/hq-ac46_e.htm

CANNED TUNA MERCURY RISKIER THAM PREVIOUSLY SUSPECTED

“Pregnant Women, Young Children Warned to Avoid Albacore”, Mercury Policy Project, June 19, 2003

One of every 20 cans of “white,” or albacore, tuna should be recalled as unsafe for human consumption, according to independent testing conducted for the Mercury Policy Project, a public interest group. On average, the levels of mercury in the white tuna were considerably higher than the industry and government claims from outdated FDA tests, said Michael Bender, director of the project.

http://www.mercurypolicy.org/new/documents/CanTheTunaReleaseFinal061903.pdf

WE’RE FISHING OUT THE SEA, CROSBIE WARNS

Reported in the Ottawa Citizen, June 16, 2003

By the end of the century, there will be no fish left in Canada’s oceans, former Fisheries Minister John Crosbie predicts - and fishermen will have no one to blame but themselves. “They don’t support conservation measures. They’ll argue that the scientists are wrong and everyone is wrong”. Crosbie was the Minister who first shut down Newfoundland’s northern cod fishery in 1992.



7. Other

BACK


US RELEASES STANCE ON SOFTWOOD TRADE

Reported in the Ottawa Citizen, June 19, 2003

The US says it is not willing to let any Canadian lumber cross the border tax-free until Canadian provinces meet US benchmarks of a market-based timber pricing system. The US stand, half of a two piece US softwood plan released yesterday by Department of Commerce under Secretary Grant Aldonas, ends a Canadian proposal to return to lumber quotas of the old softwood lumber agreement, which allowed a set volume of wood into the US tax-free.

BEEF EXPORTS TO THE US BOGGED DOWN

Reported in the Globe & Mail, June 17, 2003

Canadian farmers will have to wait longer than previously expected before they can resume beef exports to the US, analysts say, because of pressure from Japan on US regulators. Japan has reportedly told the US that it must guarantee that beef exports don’t contain any Canadian meat by July 1.

KANANASKIS FIGURES RELEASED

Reported in the Ottawa Citizen, National Post, Globe and Mail, and others, June 16, 2003

Security costs to keep world leaders safe at last June’s uneventful G8 Summit in the Rocky Mountains have soared to almost $200 million, newly disclosed figures show. Canada’s cash strapped military spent $46.5 million to have 5,000 personnel secure the ground and skies over the 4,000 sq-km recreation area of Kananaskis for the 30-hour meeting.

IMPACT OF INVESTMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Rights & Democracy News Release, June 11, 2003

More than 120 guests joined Rights & Democracy today for a policy seminar on the challenges international investment poses for the protection and advancement of human rights in developing countries. Discussion addressed the imbalance between the two bodies of law governing international trade and human rights, in particular with respect to the adjudication mechanisms. “A comprehensive policy that integrates enforceable human rights obligations with rules for investment is possible, attainable and indispensible “ said Jean-Louis Roy, President of Rights & Democracy.

http://www.ichrdd.ca/frame.iphtml?langue=0



8. Glossary

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“Chapter 11” …of the NAFTA on Dispute Settlement

CAFTA United States-Central American Free Trade Agreement

DDA Doha Development Agenda

DFAIT Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

EC European Community

ENGO Environmental non-governmental organization

EU European Union

FTA Free trade agreement

FTAA Free Trade Area of the Americas

GATS General Agreement on Trade in Services

GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

GMOs Genetically Modified Organisms

HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Country

IFI International financial institution

ILO International Labor Organization

IMF International Monetary Fund

LDCs Lesser Developed Countries

MEA Multilateral Environmental Agreement

NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement

NGO Non-governmental organization

OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

TRIPS Agreement Respecting Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

UNDP UN Development Programme

USTR US Trade Representative

WB World Bank

WEF World Economic Forum

WHO World Health Organization

WSF World Social Forum

WTO World Trade Organization




Sierra Club of Canada has an active programme on Trade and the Environment. SCC has challenged Chapter 11 through the courts on the S.D.Myers case, played an integral role in the fight against the MAI and works in coalition with the Common Front on the WTO, Common Frontiers and the Canadian Alliance on Trade and the Environment.



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