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clear CIAO Focus, August 2001: The Global Environment and Whaling
In a setback to a common approach on curtailing greenhouse gas emissions, last month G8 member states failed to come to agreement over implementation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Negotiators between the European Union and Japan made an agreement to implement the Kyoto Protocol without the United States. Citing the need to see further reductions in greenhouse emmisions from China and others, the U.S. abandoned talks over the Kyoto Protocol in March. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the U.S. comprises only 4 percent of the world's population and produces about 22 percent of world's greenhouse gas emissions, making it the single largest producer of greenhouse gases. In another event keenly watched by environmentalists and policymakers, delegates from 37 countries came together at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in London. Lacking the required two-thirds majority to set up a whale sanctuary in the South Pacific and South Atlantic, the Commission turned down the sanctuary proposal, yielding to whaling nations and their supporters. Japanese officials admitted and then later denied using foreign aid to help win over developing nations'support to lift the ban and defeat the sanctuary proposal. When food was scarce after World War II, whale meat became a staple in Japan and remained so up until the 1960s. Japan formally ended commercial whaling in 1986, in compliance with an international moratorium on whaling. But so-called scientific whaling continues to bring in some 3,000-4,000 tons of whale meat for sale as a delicacy. In 1993, arguing that whaling was necessary for cultural and commerical reasons, Norway renewed commercial whaling. Currently some 50 percent of Norway's annual whale catch is exported to Japan, in sharp defiance of CITES and the IWC. Japan and Norway have stepped up the campaign for lifting the 15-year old ban on whaling. This month CIAO examines the global environment and whaling.

From CIAO's database:

The Global Environment in the Twenty-first Century: Prospects for International Cooperation, Pamela S. Chasek

Moving Beyond Kyoto, Warwick J. McKibbin

Greenhouse Gas Emmisions, Jeffrey A. Frankel

Trade and Environment After Seattle, Duncan Brack

State Compliance With International Legitimate Norms: Wildlife Preservationist Pressures on Japanese Fishing, Isao Miyaoka

The Effectiveness of Internationl Environmental Regimes: What About the Environment?, Tom Cioppa, Hans Bruyninckx

Designing the Ocean Policy Future: Or How Am I Going to Do That?, Robert Friedheim

Designing an Efficient International Regime for Global Protection of Coral Reefs, Svetlana Morozova

The Development of the Climate Regime: Positions, Evaluation, and Lessons, Steinar Andresen

Outside Links*:

Text of the Kyoto Protocol

Text of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES)

On Global Warming Science

From the White House, Climate Change Review - Interim Report, June 11, 2001 (PDF)

Protecting the Environment: Climate Change

International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling

International Whaling Commission: Whale Population Estimates

On Norwegian Whaling, US Department of State

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine [].