Epic Theatre in Rio, Says Greenpeace’s Naidoo

Posted on 21 June 2012 by admin

By Amantha Perera

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 21 (TerraViva) The outcome of Rio+20 was dismissed as a “complete failure” for its lack of specific targets and deadlines by Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace.

“The bottom line is that on all fundamental things on environment and climate, things are extremely dire,” said Greenpeace head Kumi Naidoo. Credit: Amantha Perera/IPS

Greenpeace has been one of the most vocal critics of the outcome of months of discussions on the final declaration at the Rio summit on sustainable development, which has increasingly come under fire by civil society as a sellout.

“There is a lot of spin and theatre to show that the outcome here has been a success,” Naidoo said June 21, one day before the summit officially ends.

“Are there specific benchmarks, are there specific resources (committed)?” he asked. “The reality is that there is a complete failure in that regard.”

Naidoo acknowledged that there were major disagreements among negotiating countries, but addsed that this will not be emphasised in official recaps of the summit. “They were under pressure to put on a nice face and say it was success.”

The Greenpeace head said that the full failure of the outcome should not be put entirely on Brazil, but added that the host nation should accept some blame for its efforts to secure a consensus, no matter how weak.

“Many governments have complained how hard Brazil was pushing to get any agreement at any cost,” he said, adding that the final result was a document with the lowest possible ambition. He also blamed richer nations for defending their own narrow interests.

Some U.N. officials who have been monitoring the negotiating process also said that there was pressure. One told TerraViva that many countries agree the declaration does not offer solutions to the dire crises currently faced by humanity, but were unlikely to say so publicly.

Naidoo stressed that a declaration lacking specific targets will fail to halt worsening problems like climate change, loss of biodiversity and deforestation.

“The bottom line is that on all fundamental things on environment and climate, things are extremely dire. All the signs are that time is running out. Within the context of lack of specific commitments with appropriate resources, we declare the outcome as an epic failure,” Naidoo said.

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