Rio+20: Will we get the ‘Future We Want’?

By Tierney Smith

The final round of the negotiations leading to next week’s Rio+20 Summit begins today, but countries remain at odds on key issues.

The draft agreement would see improvements in energy, water and food security in poorer nations and a boost ocean protections.

It would also see a phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.

However, with just days left to the negotiations left, only 20% of the text has been agreed.

Last month, an emergency extra round of talks at the UN in New York saw angry scenes as negotiations over the draft text became frayed.

As UN Secretary General opened the talks he warned negotiators with “time was running out”.

There is still a lot to agree as the final round of talks opens in Brazil.

The draft text, which was leaked to the Guardian last week – titled the Future We Want – is aimed at putting the world on a better footing towards a sustainable future.

Despite the most recent text being significantly weaker than previous drafts – particularly in areas of valuing natural wealth, energy and oceans – even this has been rejected by a number of delegations.

The US, the G77/China, Russia, Japan and the EU have all objected to key sections of the text, with are including the green economy, the Sustainable Development Goals and finance resources for the developing world all continuing to cause rows.

Students tell RTCC about the future they want

In the build up to the summit, RTCC held a workshop aimed at providing an insight into what young people and students want to see achieved at the summit.

In some ways echoing the work of the delegations the workshop came up with few definitive results to the complex process.

With a group of ten students and five mentors from leading civil society organisations in development and climate change policy, initially setting out to create a set of clear aims, the complexity of combining policies to address poverty eradication, economic and environmental sustainability and energy access – in a fair manner, within the bounds of human right – soon became apparent.

But one clear outcome did come from the workshop – that these students were ready for change, and they expect to see their ministers and world leaders act at Rio+20.

RTCC Video: See the outcomes of RTCC’s student workshop and what young people want to see the Summit achieve…

Following the close of the final preparatory negotiations on Friday, there will be four days of informal meetings between ministers and heads of governments before the summit begins next Wednesday.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news, analysis and comment coming from the talks by following RTCC’s live blog.

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