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Rio text 'a polluters' charter that will cook the planet', says Greenpeace

20 Jun 2012

The Irish Times

FRANK McDONALD, Environment Editor in Rio de Janeiro

DELEGATES FROM more than 170 countries yesterday adopted a compromise text on The Future We Want. This "draft outcome" of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development will now go forward for ratification by world leaders.

It was immediately condemned by Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo, who said: "The future we want has gotten a little further away today. Rio+20 has turned into an epic failure [with] a 'common vision' of a polluters' charter that will cook the planet."

The draft was cobbled together under the leadership of Brazil and thrashed out during late-night talks that went on until nearly 3am. Brazilian foreign minister Antonio Patriota thanked delegates for an "extraordinary display of flexibility and political will".

But as world leaders began to fly in to Rio for the three-day "high-level segment", starting today, Care International's climate change policy advocate Kit Vaughan complained that the Rio+20 conference "is creating a black hole of low ambition and little substance".

Urging the expected 114 leaders to devise a "roadmap for a sustainable future", he said: "What we are seeing in Rio are incredibly weak negotiations which do not produce the results required to lift people out of poverty and stop environmental degradation."

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