The Climate-Connections media team will be covering the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, as well as the alternative Peoples Summit convened by social movements and civil society. As well as providing coverage, we’ll be collaborating with North American groups such as Indigenous Environmental Network and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, under the umbrella of the Climate Justice Alignment.
The Rio+20 summit is being billed as a “once in a generation” opportunity to catalyze a global “green economy” which would simoultaneously address poverty, global environmental devastation, and maintain economic growth, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recently warning that the summit “is too important to fail…If we really do not take firm actions, we may be heading towards the end – the end of our future.”
While much of the major media coverage of the conference will likely center around the inability of delegates to agree to a set of strong outcomes at the official summit, for many groups present in Rio, this may come as a relief. As social movement networks, civil society groups, and alternative media outlets such as Climate-Connections and Inter-Press Service have been documenting, rather than addressing the root causes of ecological collapse and social injustice, the market-based policies and technologies being advanced under the vague framework of the “green economy” will likely accelerate these problems. In what social movements are calling the same old “Greed(n) Economy,” industrial-scale biofuels, geo-engineering the atmosphere, and new bio-technologies join proposals to create vast new markets in carbon dioxide, biodiversity, and the services that ecosystems provide, with the oil/energy corporations chairing and defining the working groups on “sustainable energy.”
The Peoples Summit will offer radically different proposals to address the intertwined food, energy, economic and ecological crises, working with a framework of human rights and the rights of nature, grassroots resistance to harmful development, and community resilience in the face of an uncertain future. Lindsey, Will, Avery and I from Gears of Change look forward to spending time at both summits, and keeping you informed with the latest updates!
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