Guardian - Anger And Dismay At Weakened Rio + 20 Draft Agreement
Environmental and anti-poverty organisations at Rio+20 have responded with a mixture of fury and dismay to the watered-down final draft for the sustainability conference that has been presented by the Brazilian hosts, just hours before world leaders fly in.
Following accusations from delegates that the organisers are ramming through negotiations to ensure an agreement is in place before the start of a "high-level segment" on Wednesday, the NGOs say Brazil has abandoned key proposals for valuing biodiversity, reducing poverty and moving the global economy onto a more sustainable track.
Barring a last-minute rejection by one of the main negotiating blocks, the draft that will be presented to the 100 leaders attending the summit will contain almost no timetables, definitions or ways to monitor new sustainable development goals, nor will it strongly commit nations to move to a "green economy" that integrates environmental and social costs into decision-making.
Instead, civil society groups say the new text simply acknowledges the world's dire environmental and social problems without spelling out how to deal with them. "It's pathetic," said Jim Leape, the head of WWF. "If this text proposed by Brazil is accepted, then the last year of negotiations has been a colossal waste of time. If you saw this document without knowing what it was supposed to be, you might think Rio+20 was convened as a seminar."