As it happens, no agreements were reached in New York for a number of reasons, including the failure of the North to transfer sufficient resources to the South to help combat the environmental degradation created by acute poverty on the one hand, and the drive to develop Third World economies on the other. Although the 1992 Earth Summit agreed that rich countries would raise their overseas aid to 0.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, the percentage given has fallen to 0.27 per cent, a decrease on the 0. 34 per cent given at the time of the 1992 meeting (Schoon, 1997). Another contributory factor to the failure of Earth Summit 2 to accomplish anything was the inability of the US government to commit to any environmental targets-due primarily to the intransigence of the Republican majority in Congress which fiercely defends business interests over environmental and development concerns and resists regulation (Hams, 1997; Lean, 1997).