Rio+20 should deliver sustainability
Two decades ago in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders pledged to change the way we live. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 committed to pursue environmental, social and economic sustainability.
Twenty years later, this June, world leaders will gather in Rio again to review the progress so far, at the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development – also known as Rio+20.
ACT Alliance sees Rio+20 as a crucial milestone – an opportunity to call for more decisive global action towards sustainable development.
Much has been achieved since 1992. However, many problems stem from a globalised economic system and a neo-liberal growth model. Private sector regulation has been limited and participation of poor communities has been insufficient.
Action is needed
This model of growth and development has exacerbated climate change, and food and water shortages, while threatening the livelihoods of poor people.
Minor incremental changes to the Rio+20 outcome document will not be enough.
Bold action is urgently needed to redirect the world onto a sustainable path and ensure its people survive.
ACT Alliance is engaging in the Rio+20 preparatory processes, raising our members’ key concerns. Our ecumenical framework position for the summit highlights the following priority issues:
ACT Alliance believes that governments should commit themselves to changing the economic and development model.
ACT Alliance supports the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, as expressed in the Rio Declaration formulated at the 1992 Earth Summit.
This principle recognises industrialised nations’ historic responsibility for the climate and environment crises, as well as their capacity to respond to these issues.
At the same time, the principle also acknowledges that developing countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change and other environmental crises. However they are less equipped – technically, structurally and financially – to tackle these problems.
Poor communities must be involved in all strategies, processes and decision-making related to issues of development.
Over the past two decades, poor communities have largely been marginalised in major decisions and processes. Their voices have hardly been heard.
The manner in which decisions are made, both at national and global levels, ultimately determines whether these decisions are sustainable. The international community must listen to the voices of developing countries during the Rio+20 dialogue.
A low carbon future is a global imperative. It requires real and quick emission cuts from industrialised countries.
It also requires substantial financial investment, innovation and support to allow developing countries to access clean energy and build their resilience towards inevitable disasters.
ACT Alliance believes a low carbon future is key to sustainable development. Not only does it tackle poverty and safeguard communities' livelihoods, but it also protects the environment and biodiversity.
ACT Alliance and its ecumenical partners promote models and approaches to food production that are based on local, cheap, sustainable inputs.
ACT Alliance believes that agro-ecological food production should be key in the international search for solutions to ongoing food crises.
Rio+20 is a chance to put the international community on a path that generates the right solutions in coming years.
ACT Alliance and our members will participate in the Peoples’ Summit in Rio alongside various civil society actors. We will engage in dialogue with the UN and governments on the final Rio+20 declaration.
Latest news about Rio + 20
Jul 18, 2012
Christian Aid's senior advisor for sustainable development reflects on ACT's policy work at Rio+20, as well its investment in the "People's Summit" side event.
Jul 15, 2012
Developing countries should pursue low-carbon strategies with support from the global North to avoid the “catastrophic consequences” of climate change, argues a new ACT report.
Jun 22, 2012
Governments have squandered a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to make significant advances towards a greener, fairer future for the planet and its people, says ACT Alliance as the Rio+20 summit concludes in Brazil.
Jun 20, 2012
ACT Alliance is calling on heads of states and governments to show their leadership in Rio de Janeiro this week by agreeing to transform the current economic system, for the good of the planet and its people.
Jun 12, 2012
Gaps in leadership, ambition and commitment threaten to hamper the Rio+20 talks in Brazil next week, ACT Alliance is warning, a day before the final pre-summit negotiations begins.
May 30, 2012
Discord, mistrust and a lack of ambition from countries contributed to the disappointing outcome of the latest round of climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, ACT Alliance says.
Mar 02, 2012
The struggle of one family in one village in Burkina Faso illustrates the dangers of this emerging food crisis