Rio +20 – Epic Fail

Jun 22, 2012

Rio de Janeiro, the Cidade Maravilhosa, the home of Christ the Redeemer, is the birthplace of the United Nations Earth Summit.

So it seems appropriate that the giant beast of sustainable development negotiations should come here to die. And where New World Vultures smell the wounded and circle overhead.

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, known as the Earth Summit, was first held in Rio in June 1992.  Over 170 governments took part along with 2,400 representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) while 17,000 people attended the parallel, consultative event called Forum Global.

The first summit delivered the Climate Change Convention.  It was ambitious – laying the foundation of the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention on Biological Diversity.  There the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which established 27 sustainable development principles, Agenda 21 and the Forest Principles were also agreed.

More importantly, the first Earth Summit represented a message of hope.

Environmental concerns, from climate change to biodiversity, were no longer the obsessions of green pressure groups and charities like Greenpeace and WWF. Global solutions were now being sought by world governments.

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