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Rio+20 – Plenty of Empty Promises

Just concluded Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has been labeled as failure of epic proportions by Greenpeace and this is not without reason.

The final outcome document of the summit brought out by the heads of 190+ countries after lots of negotiations, named  “The Future We Want”  is high on series of R – words – Recognize(148), Reaffirm(59), Resolve(16) and Renew (10) – and no wonder the document is full of RhetoRic.

Rio+20 Earth Summit, also called as United Nations Conference On Sustainable Development was doomed to fail long before all the world leaders Resolved to gather and Reaffirm to save our planet.

Europe is in deep economic crisis threatening  the world to take down with it and is preoccupied with bailing out on-the-verge-of-bankruptcy nations. European leaders have little time to think about climate change and other environmental problems when their priority is to save their banks and help corporate bigwigs  from losing their investments.

USA, which never signed Kyoto Protocol or other such agreements, is in election mood, both Republicans and Democrats want economy of their country to bounce back and generate more employment for its citizens and more clout for itself outside their country – why care for lot of CO2 in the air? God will always bless America.

China, now the largest emitter of green house gases  hiding behind the garb of ‘we developing countries – victims of policies of developed countries’ Rhetoric is in no mood to halt its growth streak.

India is sticking on to ‘common but differentiated responsibility‘ clause of Rio 1992  Earth summit, demanding developed countries to cut back their emissions and transfer funds, technology and skills to developing countries to help them mitigate the problem of climate change.

Most disturbing aspect of all these conferences is purposeful derailment of any commitments by the developed countries and their excessive priority on boosting the growth of their economies at the cost of nature and its resources.

Corporate interests precede every other interest. Leaders of all nations are enmeshed in domestic problems, and those few leaders who can bring few changes if they determine to do so, are unwilling to do so.

If saving economy is the top priority, it ultimately leads to large scale consumption and that will be at the cost of our environment.

So, all global leaders have Resolved to make their economies Green.

The concept of green economy has been put forward to bring growth and development in a sustainable manner, bringing social equity and well being without affecting balance in the environment and ecology.

This is again pipe dream. Unless governments stop dancing to the tunes of private corporates whose only aim is to maximize their profits at the cost of anything, there can not be any real solution to the problem we are all facing as inhabitants of this planet.

When our home is on fire, we need someone to douse it, not give long speeches. We need heroes at the moment, not Nero’s.