Rio+20: World’s biggest greenwash?
The UN women’s group doesn’t like it. The UN children’s group doesn’t like it. Greenpeace hates it. So do Oxfam and a coalition of NGO’s known as the High Seas Alliance.
I’m talking about the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, aka Rio+20, taking place 20 years after the seminal Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The agreement draft is not legally binding (it was never planned to be) and apparently has no clearly defined goals or timetables to tackle pressing issues like food security, water and energy.
The leaders of many major countries are of course heralding its ambitious success. Not that they sent their leaders. Obama is a no-show, so is Cameron and Merkel.
EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard even tweeted “telling that nobody in that room adopting the text was happy. That’s how weak it is.”
These world leaders have been shown up by none other than Prince Charles, who said:
As I speak, the world’s rainforests continue to be destroyed, wiping out so much of the world’s vital biodiversity and removing our chances of storing carbon naturally. And we continue to ignore the painful lessons of the so-called green revolution in India by intensifying our food production methods in such blinkered, chemically and technologically-based ways, that the land and the oceans are now both beginning to fail.
Strange, though… I thought the summit started today, but from reading the news this morning it seems the negotiations have already ended.
Here is the text that is, according to many, a done deal.
And no major changes are expected over the rest of the Rio+20 summit.
Heads of state and ministers, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will meet with diplomats representing other nations from Wednesday for three days to discuss the text and possibly make some changes to its wording.
So I guess that’s it. Another disappointment rivaling COP15, but this time it’s more of a fizzle. At least Copenhagen was hyped. Rio+20 went down like a North Korean satellite launch – before it was even scheduled to take off.
So what’s next? Maybe a bit of independent actions from those that can be bothered, like cities. New York Mayor Bloomberg thinks cities acting together can majorly impact climate change and the environment in general by cutting waste, saving energy with green municipal transport and other measures.
Good luck to them.