BAU – Rio + 2012 outcome

BBC Headline sub-title: Weather matches mood: Environmental supporters march in the rain at Rio+20, 22 June 2012.

Outcomes are funny things: sometimes they are policy, and sometimes they are political outcomes, or they are both. No matter what ticks your box, widespread criticism on what was the likely outcome for sustainable development in Rio + 20 make it hard to declare if any outcome was conclusive.

With high expectation that more than a hundred world leaders would tackle poverty and damage to the natural world with definitive measures. The consensus is few tangible measures have been agreed.

The blame game that will be the fallout, and a wager is we will hear similar ‘insipid’ games played in our own politics. If you take note of these comments you will see the illustration of what to expect:

  • Fernando Cardoso Former Brazilian President: “This is a ‘once in a generation’ moment when the world needs vision, commitment and, above all, leadership”, and “Sadly, the current document is a failure of leadership.”
  • The British Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, went so far as to call it “insipid”.
  • Former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, who chaired the 1992 Earth Summit, said “This old division between environment and development is not the way we are going to solve the problems that we are creating for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren”.
  • BBC environment correspondent Richard Black says: “The overall feeling here is that governments have missed an opportunity to change the course of human development,” and “But it’s clear not every country wanted a change of tack. The US, Canada and many developing nations appear content to continue with business as usual.”

CO2Land org advocates that regardless of the need for leverage for power, We have to accept that the solutions to poverty and inequality lie in sustainable growth, not growth at all costs. Taking ‘note’ of initiatives for sustainable growth and burying any chance of enthusiasm in 50 pages of text is not enough, it is not even good politics.