As the latest negotiation text circulated through the halls of Rio Centro yesterday, the mood quickly fell from dismal to abysmal. Despite a late-night negotiating session, the revised text removes many of the important issues civil society has deemed essential. Several TckTckTck partners have released statements expressing their outrage, disappointment and confusion.
WWF Director General Jim Leape called the text “a colossal failure of leadership and vision”, saying diplomats “should be embarrassed at their inability to find common ground on such a crucial issue.”
“While some weak words have been removed, diplomats have swapped them with toothless language. This includes tongue twisters like ‘commit to the progressive realization’ and several promises to ‘recognize’ problems and solutions. They’ve added some positive actions around oceans protection. But, the text has lots of words that ‘commit’ parties to nothing – such as ‘commit to promote’ and ‘commit to systematically consider… World leaders ‘recognized’ problems 20 years ago, and they’ve done little about them since. How long are we going to accept ‘we’ll look into it’ as a solution?”
Greenpeace‘s response was equally pointed. Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director said:
“The future we want has gotten a little further away today. Rio+20 has turned into an epic failure. It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy. We were promised the ‘future we want’ but are now being present with a ‘common vision’ of a polluter’s charter that will cook the planet, empty the oceans and wreck the rain forests. This is not a foundation on which to grow economies or pull people out of poverty, it’s the last will and testament of a destructive twentieth century development model. The only sensible thing left on the table until today was the launch of an Oceans Rescue Plan for the High Seas. This too has now been killed by the US, Canada, Russia and Venezuela who want to mine the seas for private profit with impunity and exploit the resources that belong to all humanity.”
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