Progress on sustainable consumption, but final Rio+20 declaration disappoints
22 Jun 2012
Civil society, business leaders and politicians at last
appear to be united on sustainable development - if only to express
their disappointment with the outcome of the Rio+20 Earth
Following contentious negotiations, many have dismissed
the final declaration for showing little progress on important
issues and an absence of significant commitments.
A letter from civil society organisations contrasted the
final declaration with the aspirations of the many civil society
groups that had taken part in the negotiations.
"The future that we want has commitment and action, not
just promises. It has the urgency needed to reverse the social,
environmental and economic crisis, not postpone it.'
However, there was success on some of the sustainable
consumption initiatives that CI has supported.
Sustainable consumption and production was acknowledged as
a fundamental issue. The so called 'ten year framework of
programmes', that will support governments developing national and
regional programmes on sustainable consumption and production, was
also endorsed by governments on a voluntary basis. It will be
further developed in this year's negotiations at the UN General
The document also links sustainable consumption to the
Sustainable Development Goals which will be the subject of more
work under the UN framework.
Luis Flores, who led the CI team in Rio said 'the outcome
of the summit will be a disappointment to many people, but there
are some positive developments.'
It will take time to understand the impact that Rio will
have but what is clear is that the struggle for sustainable
consumption is too important for us to give up.'
'We must make the most of the opportunities that Rio has
given us. Everyone that supports a more sustainable future must
redouble their efforts to make sustainable consumption a
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