Rio+20, a missed opportunity
Rio de Janeiro, June 22, 2012 – The UN Conference on Sustainable Development – also known as Rio+20 – has resulted in a disappointing final declaration. Like many other civil society organizations around the world, Equiterre had hoped that this meeting would be a chance for leaders to:
- recommit to 1992 sustainability commitments
- make real progress in the fight against both poverty and climate change
- propose a detailed plan for the reform of the global economy
"But this is clearly a missed opportunity," says Sidney Ribaux, executive director of Equiterre. "Not that we were asking for much. We just wanted to see some progress on climate change and plant the seeds for a fairer economy. But even by these very modest standards, progress has been minimal. The only real progress was the development of sustainable development objectives for all three spheres of sustainability: social, environmental and economic."
"In 1992, the Canadian government played a key role at Rio. This time, the attitude of the government may have harmed our country's reputation. Environment Minister Peter Kent was unable to explain why Canada opposed the document on the elimination of subsidies to oil companies," adds Steven Guilbeault, deputy executive director of Equiterre.
Despite the poor results in Rio, Equiterre will continue to work with governments, organizations, businesses and communities that want to build a fairer society. We will monitor Canada's efforts to deliver on its 2009 G20 commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and subsidies to oil companies.
Equiterre also commends Quebec and other provinces and states for their increasingly important contribution to the fight against climate change. Premier Charest obtained a meeting with the Secretary General of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, suggesting that federated states have a role to play internationally.
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