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AUGUST 15, 2002
10:58 AM
CONTACT:  World Wildlife Fund
Kerry Green Zobor, 202-778-9509,; or
Jennifer Seeger, 202-778-9742,
WWF Calls on U.S. to Lead International Effort on Sustainable Development
WASHINGTON - August 15 - World Wildlife Fund today called on the United States to lead in new global efforts to improve access to clean water, energy efficiency and renewable technology. The call to action comes as world leaders are preparing for the Earth Summit to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from August 26 through September 4. The Summit will be the largest environmental meeting since the Rio Earth Summit 10 years ago.

"WWF believes that President Bush's efforts to get the nations of the world to help us solve the problem of terror will be greatly strengthened if he is seen leading an equally broad coalition to better the environmental and economic conditions under which billions of the world's people continue to live," states Brooks Yeager, WWF's vice president for global threats.

"Over one and one half billion people lack ready access to clean drinking water. Since the Rio Summit in 1992, the world's energy consumption has increased by 10 percent. The United States spends less than one-tenth of one percent of its gross national product helping other countries better their living conditions and protect their environment. Clearly the billions of dissatisfied people out here are contributing to the part of the problem of instability in the world we face today," continued Yeager.

Yeager, who will lead World Wildlife Fund's delegation to the Earth Summit, summarized WWF's goals for the Summit: "We want a global commitment to accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable technologies in the developing world. We want a commitment to improve the access to safe drinking water for billions of the world's poor people, including protecting the watersheds and developing sanitation technologies that are necessary to have clean water in countries. We clearly want rules to develop that will ensure accelerating trade and globalization which is fair and environmentally sensitive, and we want a commitment of resources from a developed countries, including the United States that will enable that progress to happen."

World Wildlife Fund,, known worldwide by its panda logo, leads international efforts to protect the diversity of life on earth. Now in its fourth decade, WWF works in more than 100 countries around the globe.


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