Jun 27 2012

Rio +20 Earth Summit Produces “283 Paragraphs of Fluff”

The Rio +20 Earth Summit came to a close last Friday with a final declaration that environmental journalist George Monbiot called “283 paragraphs of fluff.” Monbiot’s lament on the tepidly titled document,”The Future We Want,” is common among those surveying the lack of results from the week-long climate change summit attended by participants from 130 nations, but missing key world leaders. Representative from Nicaragua Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, said the final Rio+20 agreement, “contributes almost nothing to our struggle to survive as a species.” The 2012 Earth Summit came 20 years after the precedent setting 1992 gathering, also in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that led to a concerted global effort to address climate change resulting in the Kyoto Protocol. However, Janet Redman at the Institute for Policy Studies writes that each summit failed to address what she called the two elephants in the room — the energy consumption of developed nations and problems of unlimited growth and finite resources. Her colleague Oscar Reyes watched Rio 2012 come to a close without nations committing to any binding agreements or ambitious targets. Reyes sees a silver lining in language that reaffirmed a commitment to decreasing dependence on fossil fuels and a de-emphasis of the corporate-driven “green economy” agenda that threatens to put a price tag on all natural resources.

GUEST: Janet Redman, co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network at the Institute for Policy Studies

Visit www.ips-dc.org for more information.

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