Rio green summit dismissed as 'hoax that achieved nothing'
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Saturday 23 June 2012
The UN's Rio Plus 20 summit on sustainable development ended yesterday amid a torrent of criticism from environment and development campaigners, who said the colossal, three-day international meeting had achieved nothing.
More than 50,000 policymakers, environmentalists and business leaders from around the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro for a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the celebrated "Earth Summit". But in contrast to the 1992 meeting, which saw the signature of the important UN treaties on climate change and biodiversity, Rio Plus 20 led to no agreements which would make any difference to the world, campaigners said.
Instead, they alleged that the final document, entitled "The Future We Want", was merely a set of platitudes with no targets or timetables for action to spur green growth, which is the sustainable development objective.
"Rio will go down as the hoax summit. They came, they talked, but they failed to act," said Barbara Stocking, the chief executive of Oxfam.
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