The much awaited (though recently rather with a lot of pessimism) Rio+20 “Earth Summit” came to an end. Instead of commenting myself on all the things which went wrong (and the few that weren’t as bad), I would like to provide links to commentaries made before, during and after the Summit that give a fair account of what happened and how to interpret the failures of the international community to commit to saving our planet. Also, they provide an outlook on what developments we may expect in the near future.
Elinor Ostrom Green from the Grassroots
Sunita Narain Beyond Rio+20
Jagdish Bhagwati Rio’s Unsustainable Nonsense
Kristen Sheeran From Top-Down to Bottom-Up: New Directions for Climate at Rio+20
George Monbiot Rio+20 draft text is 283 paragraphes of fluff
From now on, you can use “Rio+20” as a synonym for “failure”.
Next week, Rio de Janeiro will host the Rio+20 conference – a reminiscence of the path-breaking Earth Summit that took place there 20 years ago, in 1992. Back then, the world community committed itself (at least verbally) to sustainability and laid foundations for many subsequent efforts to protect the environmental basis which our livelihoods depend upon. Since then, much has changed – some to the better, some to the worse. Today, probably the most urgent threat to humanity is climate change – in fact, it was in 1992 already, even though the science of climate change was not so consistent and clear then as it is now. It is only natural to expect that the new Earth Summit will bring at least some steps toward a successful combat against anthropogenic climate change. However, the prospects do not appear as good as one might wish. Continue reading