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Opening the People's Plenary at Rio+20 | The Nation

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Peter Rothberg

Peter Rothberg

Opposing war, racism, sexism, climate change, economic injustice and high-stakes testing.

Opening the People's Plenary at Rio+20

As the latest negotiation text circulated through the halls of Rio Centro yesterday, environmentalists’ moods quickly soured. Despite a late-night negotiating session, the revised text removes many of the important issues civil society has deemed essential.

Numerous NGOs quickly expressed their disappointment, including World Wildlife Foundation Director General Jim Leape, who called the text “a colossal failure of leadership and vision”, and assailed diplomats who “should be embarrassed at their inability to find common ground on such a crucial issue” and Greenpeace‘s Kumi Naidoo, who called Rio+20 an “an epic failure.”

In protest this morning, youth activists and civilian delegates at Rio+20 came together to publicly oppose and critique the official agenda, and to offer alternative directions. In a statement titled “The Future We Don’t Want,” young people and NGOs urge the government of Brazil, the UN Sustainable Development Conference Secretary General and all member states to stop negotiating their short-term national agendas and to urgently agree on transitional actions for global sustainable progress. (You can sign and share the statement here.)

 

 

Back in the US, as world leaders decamped to Rio for the Earth Summit, the group 350.org assembled a digital army to ask each and every member of Congress a simple question, “Do you support ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry?” Join this open-source campaign to end fossil fuel subsidies and contact your elected reps and find out where your Congressperson stands on the issue.

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