Environment ministers from the Group of Eight — the world’s industrialized powers — met over the weekend for a round of talks in preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held later this year in Johannesburg, South Africa. Although the issue of climate change was not on the agenda (much to the dismay of some environmental organizations), yesterday’s session was dominated by discussions of the Kyoto Protocol, and especially of the U.S. failure to support it. The other G-8 nations — Canada, Great Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan — have all tentatively agreed to approve the treaty, and have, with varying degrees of tact, criticized President Bush’s isolationist stance and his claim that the agreement would harm the U.S. economy. The talks also focused on how to encourage the private sector to invest more in sustainable development.
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