Rio+20: WWF and Greenpeace slam new draft text on sustainable development

By John Parnell
RTCC in Rio

The latest draft text of the outcome for the Rio+20 summit has been branded as weak and accused of pandering to outside interests by NGOs.

National delegations will provide feedback on the proposals today. (Source: UN/Maria Elisa Franco)

The Brazilian Government intervened in the stalling negotiations yesterday and issued a compromise text for nations to deliberate and sign-off before 130 heads of state arrive on Wednesday.

The 50 page document was released electronically to delegates on Saturday evening with the Brazilian Government reportedly saying that it would make “all members a little bit happy and a little bit unhappy too”.

This latest draft has not gone down well at all with attending NGOs however.

“The negotiating text is peppered throughout with words like ‘support,’ ‘encourage’ and ‘promote,’ and is very short on strong language like ‘must’ and ‘will’”, said WWF Head of Delegation Lasse Gustavsson.

“The weak words appear in the parts of the text we most need hardened up – the section on green economy launches a process which they already launched in 1992.

“The language around much needed sustainable development goals and the language around energy, which could have been written by the oil and gas industry, also fall short,” added Gustavsson.

Greenpeace echos many of these sentiments calling the forestry section an “embarrassment” and the green economy text “meaningless”.

“If broadly adopted, the latest text from the Brazilian government would condemn the world to a future of pollution, plunder and destruction. There is no action here, no commitment, no future we want,” said Daniel Mittler, Greenpeace International’s Political Director.

“One saving grace is the commitment to an Oceans Rescue Plan for the High Seas. Whether governments commit to an Oceans Rescue Plan is now a key test of whether this Summit delivers anything at all,” said Mittler.

National delegations will provide feedback on the proposals today.


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