Rio+20: Yes, Important Progress Made

By Rona Fried The lofty purpose of the Rio+20 Earth Summit was to “establish an institutional framework for sustainable development and to establish a green economy.. While not legally binding, the document that emerges from Rio+20 will serve as a roadmap for sustainable development.” With that kind of set up, the conference couldn’t help but disappoint – let’s solve the world’s problems with this one simple text that 180 countries will be happy to sign onto! Still, delegates managed to approve a 49-page document, “The Future We Want, ” which reaffirms much of the text from the same conference 20 years ago. In fact, the word “reaffirm” appears 59 times in the text! Complaints from the NGO community are its wishy washy language, lack of specifics, timetables or deadlines. Greenpeace calls it a “failure of epic proportions,” while the Pew Environment Group says, “It would be a mistake to call Rio a failure, but for a once-in-a-decade meeting with so much at stake, it was a far cry from a success.” Here’s an excerpt from the text: “We recognize that the planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home and that Mother Earth is a common expression in a number […]

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