A draft agreement has been negotiated for the Rio+20 summit that starts today, but anyone who cares about the future of our planet should be disappointed.
The expert panel of nobel laureates, scientists and ministers’ call to ‘seize the moment‘ has largely gone unheeded, as the agreement is full of empty promises and lacking in concrete commitments.
The world will apparently aim for “urgent action” on unsustainable production and consumption, but the draft gives no detail or timetable on how to achieve this; no clear direction on how the world economy can be put on a greener path.
The panel warned:
“The combined effects of climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience at a time of increased demand, poses a real threat to humanity’s welfare.”
“There is an unacceptable risk that human pressures on the planet, should they continue on a business as usual trajectory, will trigger abrupt and irreversible changes with catastrophic outcomes for human societies and life as we know it.”
with Prof Will Steffen from the Australian National University saying:
“There are intrinsic limits to the planet’s capacity, and we must recognise that we’re transgressing them – in fact, have transgressed some of them.”
“Business as usual is not an option.”
but what we got was a document that largely it merely “reaffirms” commitments nations have made previously.
World leaders were too busy with the euro crisis at the G20 meeting that finished today; with Obama, Merkel and Cameron among many world leaders who will not be going to Rio. The immediate monetary crisis overshadows the much bigger and longer-lasting environmental and developmental ones. Apparently we can’t worry about getting poor people fresh water, or the fact that we’re consuming more than the planet creates while we’re not sure how the sharemarket will react to Greece’s budget.