Summit to Save the Earth: Rio's Legacy

Despite the squabbles, the Earth Summit could go down in history as a landmark beginning of a serious drive to preserve the planet

At its midpoint a week ago, the giant Earth Summit in Rio seemed to be on the verge of completely disintegrating. Angered by Washington's refusal to sign the "biodiversity" treaty to protect the world's plants and animals, several poorer nations considered withdrawing their support for the pact and even spoke of reviewing their position on the agreement to combat global warming. At summit headquarters trivialities and private agendas derailed serious debate over the plan of action called Agenda 21. Arab delegates pushed for oblique references to emotional and irrelevant issues like the plight of Israel's occupied territories, while oil states worked...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!