rio + 20 by narghee-la.
A lot of people have been talking about the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development. I have been finding it hard to care, or even quite understand. AFAIK, Rio+20 is at least partly an attempt to implement what nations agreed on 20 years ago. And never quite did. That said Rio+20 has made some strides, including allocating 175 billion USD for public transit. However, our reporter on the ground Amantha Perera is now quoting the head of Greenpeace saying “Within the context of lack of specific commitments with appropriate resources, we declare the outcome as an epic failure” (IPS).
These conferences are kinda wasteful – both in terms of hot air and sheer emissions from all the travel and traffic clogging Rio – and the UN is kinda lethargic and, oooh, sclerotic. That said, having an international consensus that BOTH environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation are important can have a knock-on effect for years to come.
When I was young we learned about environmentalism, but it wasn’t such a big issue. Now, however, I think because people my age have grown up, it’s a major concern influencing governments, businesses and individuals alike. Hence the results of Earth Summits like this can have a long-term effect.
That said, Greenpeace head Kumi Naidoo (who, incidentally looks exactly like you’d expect the head of Greenpeace to look) seems to be saying that time is running out. “The bottom line is that on all fundamental things on environment and climate, things are extremely dire. All the signs are that time is running out,” he said.
Which may kinda be true, but I don’t think so. I think there is a change in how we approach the environment and that, because the alarm is being raised, things won’t go all apocalypto. Only time will tell if this summit is an epic fail. I can certainly understand that it must be frustrating.