Bringing to a close the essays from our latest pamphlet published ahead of the Rio+20 summit, Richard Page of Greenpeace addresses what governments need to agree to protect our seas.
Our oceans give us life. The oxygen in every second breath we take comes from the ocean. Billions of people rely on our oceans for their food and for employment. In return, we are plundering the oceans of fish, choking them with pollution and altering them forever with the impacts of human-induced climate change. Continue reading
From our Rio+20 pamphlet published earlier this month ahead of the Conference, Oxfam GB’s Sarah Best set out the challenge for Rio and introduces ‘doughnut economics’ – living within the Earth’s planetary and social boundaries. You can read Oxfam GB’s response to the summit here.
The human race is living beyondits means. The lifestyles and choices made by the wealthiest threaten all our future security and prosperity, while a billion people go to bed hungry every night. And without action, this crisis will only intensify. As the population continues to rise, Rio+20 is about how we will achieve prosperity and security and well-being for nine billion people, in a world of finite resources and environmental limits. Summit themes don’t come more important than that. Continue reading
At the Rio+20 talks last week, the UK Government announced plans to implement Labour’s framework on carbon reporting. In the latest of our Rio+20 essays from our new pamphlet, Richard Howitt MEP considers the responsibilities of business in sustainable development.
If all human behaviour has to change to prevent a headlong rush towards catastrophic climate change for our planet, then for our companies and our economy it cannot continue with “business as usual.”
The list of corporate scandals is long – big-name companies, accused of grievous human rights abuses and environmental desecration in developing countries. Allowing rivers to run with acid, indigenous people to be forcibly displaced from their land and children to work in toxic mines beyond our borders. But the tone of the debate has changed in recent years, away from the headline-grabbing abuses of a few companies, towards the need for every company to chart its course towards operating in a low-carbon economy. Continue reading
As Rio+20 closes, the next essay from our new pamphlet by leading Labour politicians on sustainable development is by Linda McAvan MEP, considering the European dimension to the issues.
At the Rio+20 Summit, as at most major international negotiations, the UK will be attending not as an individual country, but as part of the European Union (EU) delegation. The 27 EU Member States have submitted a joint position to the UN which has been negotiated over several meetings of Europe’s Environment Ministers and endorsed at the recent EU Summit of Heads of State. This determination to act together and present a clear, common purpose reflects a determination to learn lessons from the EU’s experience at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. On that occasion, the EU’s failure to speak with one voice as different Heads of State attempted to upstage each other led to the EU being sidelined in the final hours of negotiation – despite it being the most prepared delegation at the talks. Continue reading
In our next essay from the Rio+20 pamphlet we published this week, Ivan Lewis MP, Shadow International Development Secretary, sets out the key outcomes the international development movement wants to see at the UN Conference.
For too many around the world access to basic human resources such as food and water is a daily struggle for survival. Resource security and sustainability has been a goal long sought by the international community and in the 21st Century it is increasingly important that we rise to the challenge. Continue reading
In the first of the essays from our new Rio+20 pamphlet, Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh MP looks at the big challenges in Rio – food, rural poverty, forests and a more transparent economy.
The Rio+20 Summit is the biggest global gathering on sustainable development since the original Rio summit in 1992. The original declaration, including such worthy goals as the eradication of poverty, reducing unsustainable production and consumption, and cooperation to protect the world’s ecosystems is as relevant today as it was 20 years ago. The Rio declaration worked to the Brundtland Commission’s (named after Norway’s former Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, who chaired it) definition of sustainable development as:
“Development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
In other words, development that is environmental, socially and economically sustainable. Continue reading
Introducing SERA’s new pamphlet looking at the opportunity of the Rio+20 UN Sustainable Development Conference, Melanie Smallman says it is the second chance the world needs to deliver on a sustainable future for our planet.
In 1992, when the world’s leaders last met in Rio for the first Earth Summit, I was about to join the Labour Party and was working as a student journalist with a local radio station. I was sent out to interview people in the street to hear what they thought about the Summit and I can still remember the hopeful views they expressed. Rio was where we were going to save the planet. Continue reading
SERA has launched a new pamphlet, Rio+20: Our second chance for a sustainable future?, as our contribution to the debate at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Brazil. Continue reading