Geneva 1987

The U.S. stance remained unchanged through the final, pre-Montreal negotiating session that took place in April 1987 at Geneva again. The United States entered this negotiation under further pressure from environmental NGOs and Congress to take unilateral action. Both the EPA and the State Department stressed the need for global action in response to these calls. Lee Thomas claimed that "[s]tratospheric ozone is very important to the United States and the only way to deal with this issue is globally."88 At the same time, U.S. actions demonstrated the continuing North-only definition of a global response. The focus remained on bargaining with the EU.

During the actual negotiations at Geneva, Tolba started playing a more central and visible role. It was at this meeting that Tolba initiated the first of many informal meetings that came to known as "Friends of Tolba" or "Friends of the Executive Director" meetings.89 These meetings were designed specifically to get away from the pressures and politics of formal negotiating sessions, in order to discuss the contentious issues face-to-face in discussions directed by Tolba himself.90 Of note was the total absence of Southern presence at these informal sessions.91 Two key participants explain this absence in slightly different ways. Benedick, the chief U.S. negotiator, attributed the lack of Southern presence to a lack of interest in the emission control/reduction measures. He credited Tolba with representing Southern interests in these meetings.92 Tolba, on the other hand, claims that rather than lack of interest, Southern absence is better explained by Southern contentment with the language in the negotiating text that provided a ten-year grace period and acknowledged the need for technological and financial transfers.93 The Southern states that did participate were content with the negotiations to this point, and the vast majority of Southern states not participating had yet to show interest in the problem. Southern states were still using a North-only operating rule.

The United States entered the summer of 1987 confident that an agreement was within reach.94 At Geneva, negotiators had agreed on the necessity of a freeze on CFC emissions and a gradual phaseout, though important details remained.95 The South was discussed at Geneva, as was technology transfer. Ironically, however, the technology transfer proposal discussed was put forward by Japan. And rather than a development concession for Southern states, technology transfer was discussed as a way to avoid "a monopoly by any specific country" on CFC substitute technology.96 Northern competitiveness issues remained on center stage.

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

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