One Year After Rio: The U.S. Waves A Green Flag

At last June's Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, leaders of 172 nations made plenty of promises. Compelled by the fear that human activity may one day ruin the planet, they fashioned a controversial plan for sustainable development--a more environmentally sound approach to growth that hinges on relieving poverty, conserving resources, and cutting pollution. They signed Agenda 21, an 800-page blueprint, and most agreed to two landmark treaties--one to combat global warming, one to protect plant and animal species. Everyone vowed to act on these programs, and rich countries pledged aid to help poor nations bear the burden.

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