Rio+20: Greenpeace boss slams “scandalous” politicians at Earth Summit

By Ed King
RTCC in Rio 

The Rio+20 process has been heavily criticsed by the Executive Director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo.

Speaking to journalists after leaving a People’s Summit meeting with Ban Ki-moon, Naidoo said Rio+20 was a missed opportunity .

“It is scandalous that these leaders arrive here for three days when there is a text on the table with no substance, no guts and they don’t even spend one hour negotiating,” said Naidoo.

“They use the time to announce projects and initiatives. We don’t have a problem with these projects but they don’t have to announce them at a UN summit. We understand its difficult but to come here and address an empty hall just to get a photograph for the cameras back home. They are betraying our children and our grandchildren’s future and this is an act of criminality as far as we are concerned.”

Naidoo also criticized the resulting outcome of the summit.

“There’s no deadlines, no benchmarks and no money on the table to make any of these things happen. We would be really stupid now to believe that they are going to act in a way that people require,” said Naidoo.

He also stated together with Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), that there would be future action to press governments on the issues raised at Rio+20. The ITUC has 175 million members.

“It’s not lived up to expectations, it’s not the world we want. Here [at the conference], the conversation is obsessed with national parochialism and national self interest.

“If you go to the People’s Summit you see people from all the countries of the world and trade unions, women’s, groups, religious groups, indigenous peoples and we are transcending national fixations we are not going to sort these problems with short term national interests,” added Naidoo.

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