Seventh, and finally, disasters that have occurred recently such as the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Japan to the flooding in the Midwestern portion of the U.S. has tremendous environmental and economic consequences, not to mention the toll it takes on one's own livelihood. Undoubtedly, such events will receive added attention at the summit.
NOT EVERYONE IS HAPPY WITH SUMMIT DEVELOPMENTS
On June 19, diplomats agreed to a draft text on green global development that environmentalists deemed "weak" and felt did not go far enough in addressing the core issues such as climate change.
The draft text did not include a clause agreed upon by the G20; it called for the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies by the year 2020. A reduction in subsidies was expected to reduce overall demand of global energy by five (5) percent and emissions of carbon dioxide by six (6) percent.
Two countries who blocked the clause were Venezuela and Canada, not surprisingly countries who are large oil producing nations.
"THE FUTURE WE WANT"
In an op-ed piece in The New York Times, ( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/opinion/the-future-we-want.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Ban%20Ki-moon&st=Search ) last month titled "The Future We Want", Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined his goals for the Rio+20 summit.
Mr. Ban Ki-moon writes, ""we can not continue to burn and consume our way to prosperity"we have not embraced the obvious solution -- the only possible solution, now as it was 20 years ago: sustainable development."
The leader of the global body continues by saying that Rio+20 offers another opportunity for the international community to come together to find reasonable solutions that confront us today.
The U.N. head highlights three ""clusters of outcomes"" where he believes the delegates to the conference should focus their attention.
He believes the summit should do the following:
- ""Rio+20 should inspire new thinking -- and action""
- ""Rio+20 should be about people""
- ""Rio+20 should issue a clarion call to action: waste not."
Delegates to the conference should ask themselves some important questions when they are in Rio de Janeiro: Is this the future that we want? Is this the future that I want? I suspect when they ponder how to respond they will be surprised to hear their answers.
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