'100 countries back world environment agency'



`100 countries back world environment agency` Paris: More than a hundred countries now support a French proposal to create a "World Environment Organisation" at the upcoming 20th anniversary conference of the Rio Summit, France's ecology minister said today.

"More than 100 countries have now associated themselves with the proposal," Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said at a conference in Paris aimed at stimulating ideas for June 20-22 global gathering.

The idea is to beef up the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which critics say lacks clout and resources for dealing with the world's worsening environmental crisis.

Kosciusko-Morizet said the new agency was a key to the success of the June 20-22 conference, designed to assess the 20 years that have passed since the 1992 Rio Summit that nailed the environment to the political agenda.

It should be part of a rethink of the world's economy, in which green issues and social questions should be placed alongside the search for profit.

"The new capitalism which emerges from the crisis has to be environmental, or it won't be new," she said.

The Paris conference gathered several hundred representatives from national and local government, think tanks and civil society with the declared aim of gingering up a programme, called "draft zero," that is being hammered out for Rio.

PTI