Put this in the When actions speak louder than words file. More evidence
about who is controlling the US government. Mike Miller
See for yourself. The entire text of the U.S. letter is available online
Leaked Letter Reveals U.S. Threat to Thwart Toxics Treaty
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, February 3, 2000 (ENS) - A letter from the U.S.
State Department to the European Union reveals that the United States is
demanding that the European Union drop its current commitment to eliminate
some of the world’s most toxic chemicals.
The letter was leaked today by the international environmental group
In March, the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee
on Persistant Organic Pollutants (POPs) will be held in Bonn, Germany. The
Committee was created in 1998 to develop international standards to combat
POPS in the environment.
POPs are synthetic byproducts of industrial processes that break down very
slowly in the environment and can build up in living tissues. Some of them
are known human carcinogens; others cause neurological disorders,
respiratory diseases and interfere with normal reproduction.
The 12 POPs now addressed by this agreement in formation are: the
pesticides aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex and
toxaphene; the industrial chemicals polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and
hexachlorabenzine which is also a pesticide; and the combustion byproducts
dioxins and furans.
Greenpeace says the U.S. attempting to discourage European Union support
for developing countries - known as G-77 for Group of 77 - that aim to
eliminate POPs rather than just reduce them.
The letter reveals that United States is urging the European Union (EU) to
vote with the U.S., and do no more than reduce the toxic chemicals at the
March negotiations of the global persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
treaty in Bonn.
"The U.S. is seriously concerned that, unless the U.S. and the EU countries
change tactics before INC-4 [the March meeting], POPs negotiations will not
conclude this year as scheduled and may collapse," the letter reads.
"The U.S. views the purpose of the POPs negotiations as fundamentally
bringing G-77 commitments on POPs as close as possible to those most
[industrialized] countries have in their domestic legislation. We are
concerned, however, that after three sessions, negotiations have focused
almost exclusively on differences" among the industrialized countries, the
letter continues. "These differences have focused on attempts to go beyond
LRTAP is the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, an
agreement signed in 1979 that entered into force in 1983. It sets out
general principles for cooperation on air pollution abatement and
establishes a framework for coordinating research and information exchange
between Parties. The Parties to LRTAP include the U.S., Canada, and West
and East European countries, including Russia.
Most important, the LRTAP established a cooperative program for monitoring
and evaluating air pollutants in Europe. A number of protocols have been
negotiated using the LRTAP framework, including reduction of sulfur
emissions (1985 and 1994)), control of nitrogen oxides (1988), and control
of emissions of volatile organic compounds (1991).
The U.S. letter warns the European Union against pushing for rules on POPs
that would exceed the guidelines created by the LRTAP convention.
"We must focus our attention on negotiating with the developing countries.
The attempt in the negotiations to date to go beyond agreed LRTAP
principles among ourselves distracts from this focus and directly threatens
our ability to bring the G-77 into a global POPs framework," the letter reads.
In particular, the U.S. letter says, industrialized countries should
concentrate on helping developing countries come to a realistic expectation
regarding the financial assistance they can expect from other countries
towards making substantial reductions in POPs levels in the environment.
Developing countries "must also accept that the POPs issue is not a global
commons issue to the same degree as ozone depletion or climate change," the
letter says. Industrialized countries are "not prepared to bear all the
cost of implementing POPs."
"Failure to make significant progress on this issue at INC-4 could stall
negotiations," the letter warns.
"This letter exposes a cynical attempt by the U.S. to bully other countries
into allowing toxic emissions to continue," said Greenpeace toxic
campaigner, Wytze van der Naald. "The question is whether the EU can
publicly defend becoming the willing puppet of the well known U.S.
negotiation technique, and watch it watering down international treaties
and then refusing to ratify and follow them."
"Whilst toxic chemical pollutants remain the main problem of the
negotiations, the U.S. is fast becoming the major obstacle to international
solutions," he added.
On Monday, the U.S. will meet with European Union and other industrialized
countries at the headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD) to informally discuss the European Union position on
"The EU must refuse to be manipulated and continue to forge ahead and phase
out toxic pollution as they committed themselves to under European
agreements," urged van der Naald.
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