by Ruth Davis, Greenpeace UK
The ‘Future We Want’ is nowhere to be found in the agreement which world leaders are currently rubber-stamping in Rio. Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo summed up the feelings of millions of us when he described the outcome as a ‘polluters charter that will cook the planet’.
Gone from the Rio agreement is a commitment to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Gone is any clear commitment to protect our oceans from over-fishing and pollution. The money needed to pay for clean energy, and to ensure that the growing world population has access to decent food and clean water, is no-where to be seen. Again, our leaders have reminded us that while cash can be found to pursue wars and to rescue banks, nothing is left to help billions of people out of poverty or protect the ecosystems upon which human life ultimately depends.
But strangely, while Rio+20 represents a new low in the international community’s response to our growing crises, the anger it is generating might be our last, best, hope for change. Continue reading
by Patricia Lerner, Greenpeace International
Three years ago I was in Pittsburgh and witnessed the G20 leaders commit to phasing out “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term”. That wasn´t the urgency we were looking for then, or the one sought with the global #endfossilfuelsubsidies twitter storm today.
We did hope then that by 2012 we would have seen some progress, but the silence has been deafening; they have done absolutely nothing at all. Far from actually shifting subsidies from ‘bads’ to ‘goods’, G20 governments have yet to even define what they mean by “inefficient” or “medium term”. Nor are they being transparent on the size of the subsidies.
Developed world governments plead here at the Rio+20 Earth Summit that they cannot offer new money to deliver sustainable development globally. Canada even wants to delete any reference to the commitment developed countries made 40 (!) years ago to spend 0.7 percent of national income on aid. Yes, the same Canada which is perfectly happy to hand out over $900 million to tar sands oil. Continue reading