Rio+20, the United Nations conference on sustainable development, did not bring what it should have: hope. Hope that future generations can enjoy Planet Earth, that the Planet’s ecosystems will not further be disrupted by today’s affluent population’s greed.
In 1992 the Rio UN conference (the Rio “Earth Summit”) paved the way for quite a few achievements with regard to Earth’s sustainability. For instance, the Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature at the Rio “Earth Summit”. In addition, it led to the Kyoto protocol, an international agreement adopted in Kyoto (Japan) in 1997, which sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Further deterioration of Earth’s ecosystems make progress of the sustainability efforts imperative, and succesful negotiations and agreements in Rio 2012 essential.
As always a draft agreement was prepared by UN members beforehand, to adopt during the three day meeting. But already the draft agreement was a weak document, and it seemed unlikely that it would become stronger during the discussions at the conference. And this was kind of predicted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in his opening statement of the conference
Well, did Ban Ki-Moon’s words already said it all, the following does not allow any misunderstanding of the grand mistake the politicians have made in Rio this week:
Cowards at Rio?: organisations decry ‘pathetic’ agreement
Rio+20 Has Become the Summit of Futility
Rio+20 draft text is 283 paragraphs of fluff
Rio summit: Little progress, 20 years on
If you really want to know how grim the future of Planet Earth looks, and how shortsighted and powerless today’s politicians worldwide are then you should read The Future We Want, the final agreement. But if you really want to mean something in this sustainability battle than I suggest you go for the NGO that best fit your purpose and give it all you got. Because it is up to us, to make the world any better, that’s for sure!