A woman protests the current economic system at the Rio+20

U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio, June 21



Rio+20 Fully Justifies Environmental Pessimism (Estadao, Brazil)


“Governments act as if they had all the time in the world to contain the impact of the transformations with which man is burdening the planet. More serious than disagreements between national leaders, is their lack of a shared sense of urgency.”




Translated By Brandi Miller


June 21, 2012


Brazil – Estadao – Original Article (Portuguese)

Demonstrators at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development protest 'industrial farming' - in which a small number of multinational corporations control seeds, their genetic modification, and what farmers grow and sell, June 21.


By obtaining the approval of the summit communiqué from the 193 delegations present at the Rio+20, Brazil’s chief negotiator, Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, considered the results of Brazilian diplomacy nothing less than “amazing.” In fact, Itamaraty’s [the Foreign Ministry] exhaustive efforts to produce the document were successful, especially taking into account the barriers erected by other countries could not be overcome, practically obligating the host nation to assume control of the proceedings. But the euphoric term used by the ambassador betrays a professional distortion.


Diplomats invariably hold that the when summit participants come to agreements on final communiqués, it is a triumph of the negotiating process. Even with proposals that are approved unanimously but are worthless, as is the case with the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, it makes sense that diplomats spend sleepless nights trying to arrive at a final version of the text that is palatable to everyone. The alternative would be Rio +20 ending without any agreement, which, on top of being a political failure in general - especially for Brazil - would be an even bigger failure on the part of the multilateral system created to address the climate change which is shaking the planet.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Both threats were avoided - as was the risk of a setback regarding decisions taken at the first conference, Rio 92. At the time, unprecedented documents were adopted, like conventions on climate and biodiversity, sticking to the concept of sustainability - desirable practices that meet contemporary human needs without depriving future generations – and establishing the principle of responsibility that was common although diversely interpreted. This is the cornerstone of apportioning the cost of environmental protection: countries that have historically thrived thanks to the use of fossil fuels, but which cause global warming, should be the primary payers for curbing the climate disaster.




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DNA, France: The Men and the Mermaid  

El Pais, Spain: 2009 - The Year Earth Outgrew Nation States

El Watan, Algeria: The 'Madness' of Copenhagen

Le Quotidien d'Oran, Algeria: Fiasco!: West Bets Climate Change Will Hurt Poor

Der Spiegel, Germany: German Press Concludes: 'Copenhagen Was All-Out Failure'

The Telegraph, U.K.: British Leader Says China and U.S. to Blame for Summit Failure

The Telegraph, U.K.: There'll Be 'Nowhere to Run' from New World Government  

Liberation, France: Global Cooperation - Gone Like a 'Mirage'

Le Monde, France: Copenhagen Climate Talks - 'Failure and Disappointment'

Le Figaro, France: The Climate and the Challenge of Governing a Planet

Der Spiegel, Germany: Gunning Full Throttle Into the Greenhouse  

Estadao, Brazil: The Rich Show Their Hand at Copenhagen

Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia: Gorbachev Presses World Leaders to Deliver on Climate

Kurier, Austria : Potentially Negligent Mass Murder: Climate Change Must Be Faced

Guardian Unlimited: Climate Summit in 'Disarray' After Leak of 'Danish Text'  

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: 'Grotesque Behavior' of Climate Powers

Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: Beijing Instead of Copenhagen  

Hurriyet, Turkey: History's Judgment of Our Generation Depends on Climate Summit



None of the advances achieved two decades ago were reversed, even if the continuing deterioration of ecosystems demanded from the international community more robust initiatives in less time. And this is what Rio+20 did not do. The “amazing” diplomatic consensus was only achieved by removing any of the substantively effective proposals from the text, having been rejected by one group of countries or another. The wealthy swept the conference document clean of, among other things, the idea of a $30 billion fund to pay for technology transfers to the poor for mitigating environmental damage. Captained by the United States, they also gutted the Brazilian project of new rules for ocean exploration.


The poor, in turn, were able to sully the notion of a green economy, alleging its invocation by developed nations to impose trade barriers, aka/“ecoprotectionism.” And so it went, from general idea to general idea, until a consensus of nothing or almost nothing was reached. All that was established is a committee of 30 countries, to be created by the United Nations, which would propose a model financial architecture for defending the earth by 2014. There was not a word on numbers, timelines and who would pay. Worse still, there was no mention if the specific issues or goals to be issued on that date and which this committee will be responsible for how to achieve sustainable development goals, the great hope of Rio+20.


When saving multilateralism, preventing a setbacks on the environmental front and transferring critical decisions to the future is “a victory,” as President Dilma Rousseff said as she left the G-20 meeting in Mexico to open the Rio Summit, it fully justifies the pessimism of environmentalists. Governments act as if they had all the time in the world to contain the impact of the transformations with which man is burdening the planet. More serious than disagreements between national leaders, is their lack of a shared sense of urgency.




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[Posted by Worldmeets.US July 5, 5:59pm]




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