WWF – Emerging countries set to determine Rio+20 outcome
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: In a historic power shift, many emerging economy leaders are heading this week to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, while domestic concerns keep most developed country leaders at home.
Nearly all European heads of state are staying away, ostensibly for a meeting on the economy of Greece. But if they don’t get the future challenges right in Rio they will soon need crisis meetings on the economy of the globe as we exceed planetary boundaries, warns WWF.
“This is the largest UN conference in history – and also for the first time in history we are seeing emerging countries take over leadership and determine the outcome. It is an exciting moment and one which will be looked back on and analysed for years to come,” said Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director of Conservation at WWF International.
“If world leaders are really worried about the economy, they should be at Rio+20. Instead of being here and investing in the future, Europeans are staying away and investing in debt,” said Gustavsson.
Other developed country heads of state are also shunning Rio+20 including Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, and US President Barack Obama.
The global economic recovery will be based on providing food, water and energy for all people across the world. Jobs will be created in services, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and others sectors based on nature and biodiversity.
“If our natural resource base collapses, the global economy collapses with it. Engaging in the unique Rio+20 process is the best investment in the future, both for developed and emerging economies,” said Gustavsson. “Emerging economies have 46.19 per cent of the world population and represent 27.32 per cent of the world economy – and now they are moving to influence global political power too – while Greece has only 0.37 per cent of the world economy. Go figure.”
WWF is calling on leaders at Rio+20 to agree on ambitious plans that value natural wealth in national accounting, cut perverse subsidies, and move towards the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals to carry forward a bold green and fair development agenda to 2030.