The biggest international event this year is the UN Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20 on 20-22 June. It was meant to celebrate the Earth Summit of 1992, to reaffirm the political commitments made then, and to come up with up-to-date action plans to counter the crises which have become much more serious than 20 years ago.
But the negotiations to produce an outcome document got bogged down with new concepts, especially the ‘green economy’, and now the developed countries appear reluctant to a simple reaffirmation of the original Rio equity principle, or to re-commit to provide finance and technology transfer.
A big breakthrough to tackle the world’s environmental and economic crises is now beyond the reach of the Rio+20 Summit. But it can still be a success if it reaffirms old commitments and launches new processes to strengthen institutions and to initiate new goals and action plans. This article summarises the key issues that are being fought over and that will have to be resolved at Rio+20.
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