Make you Fink on Friday

Rio summit: Little progress, 20 years on

Twenty years after the first Rio summit, campaigners say this global gathering has failed to achieve similar results


On the final day of the UN sustainable development summit in Rio, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to eliminate hunger from the world.

The secretary-general said in a world of plenty, no-one should go hungry.

The final phase of the summit has seen pledges from countries and companies on issues such as clean energy.

But a number of veteran politicians have joined environment groups in saying the summit declaration was “a failure of leadership”.

And UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described the outcome as “insipid”.

The meeting, marking 20 years since the iconic Earth Summit in the same city and 40 since the very first global environment gathering in Stockholm, was aimed at stimulating moves towards the “green economy”.

But the declaration that was concluded by government negotiators on Tuesday and that ministers have not sought to re-open, puts the green economy as just one possible pathway to sustainable development.

Mary Robinson, formerly both Irish president and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it was not enough.

“This is a ‘once in a generation’ moment when the world needs vision, commitment and, above all, leadership,” she said.

“Sadly, the current document is a failure of leadership.”

The former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, who chaired the 1992 Earth Summit, said the declaration did not do as much for environmental protection as for human development.

“This old division between environment and development is not the way we are going to solve the problems that we are creating for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” he said.

“We have to accept that the solutions to poverty and inequality lie in sustainable growth, not growth at all costs.”

Mr Ban had hoped the summit would take firmer steps towards ensuring the poor had access to water, food and energy.

However, his flagship Sustainable Energy for All initiative was merely “noted” in the text, not enthusiastically endorsed.

Source: BBC News Read more


Sadly, the Rio Summit on sustainability was a waste of time and money. When you balance the priorities less was achieved in 2012 than in 1992, and nothing has been done since 1992, so we can fully expect less to be done after 2012.

The answer to my last question on yesterday’s post:

No they won’t!

The world’s leaders are more interested in feathering their own nests by advancing development at all costs, even if those costs are too high for the planet to pay.

The chance was there, they blew it.

They can’t get it into their thick heads, that there will not be another chance. Twenty years on will be too late; they will see that in twenty years and they will come to understand that 2012 was the last chance. There will be wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth in the future, but the door of opportunity was closed, it will all be in vain.

Brazil’s ex-President  Fernando Cardoso was right, “This old division between environment and development is not the way we are going to solve the problems that we are creating for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

The theme of Rio +20 was ‘sustainability’, and here’s the joke; the initiative was merely ‘noted’ in the text.

There is only one thing left to say:

Will the last person alive on Planet Earth please turn out the lights, we must save power!

One response to this post.

  1. […] said all much the same thing yesterday and today on Eco-Crap. Rio +20 was a failure because of the ‘business first to hell with the […]



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