International curbs mooted on trade in polluting technologies

A possible first step towards international rules on trade in environmentally damaging technologies was taken at a conference on cleaner production in Paris on 27-29 October. Convened by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the meeting also saw the launch of two initiatives to assist developing nations in adopting cleaner production techniques.

Organised by the Cleaner Production Programme led by UNEP's office in Paris, the conference was designed to review the Programme's progress since its inception at a meeting in the UK in 1990 (ENDS Report 188, pp 21-23). Cleaner production involves switching attention away from "end-of-pipe" pollution abatement measures to waste reduction at source.

In one session of the conference, Environment Ministers from eight countries, including the

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