RIO+20 UN Summit Imploding Before It Begins

by Editor

The Rio 2012 UN environmental summit is less than 6 weeks away and global leaders and pulling out left right and centre. US president Barrack Obama probably won’t be there. British Prime Minister David Cameron probably won’t be there. France’s President-elect, Francois Hollande, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin will be attending to give the conference some weight.

There are also major concerns about accommodation in the city that will also host the 2014 World Cup Final and the 2016 Olympics. Currently there are some 33,000 hotel beds available in the city. An estimated 50,000 visitors are expected for the conference. Locals are being urged to give up their houses and beds during the conference.

Obama Probably Will Pull Out Of The RIO 2012 Summit

The largest-ever United Nations conference, a summit billed as a historic opportunity to build a greener future, appears to be going up in smoke.U.S. President Barack Obama likely won’t be there, and the leaders of Britain and Germany have bowed out. The entire European Parliament delegation has canceled.

And with fewer than six weeks to go until the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, negotiations to produce a final statement have stalled amid squabbling. Logistical snags, too, threaten to derail the event.

Though the conference’s host city, Rio de Janeiro, is also slated to stage mega-events in the 2014 World Cup final match and the 2016 Olympics, its hotel infrastructure is still woefully lacking. With a total of 33,000 beds for the estimated 50,000-plus visitors expected to flood the city for the June 20-22 summit, the mayor has resorted to asking residents to leave town and rent out their apartments to delegates.Critics contend such stopgap measures will prove too little, too late.The conference is the follow-up to the U.N.’s 1992 Earth Summit, also held in Rio, which helped put climate change on the world agenda. Twenty years later, climate change remains such a divisive subject that the anniversary conference will focus instead on the more palatable topic of sustainable development: economic growth that meets humans’ present needs without devouring resources to derail the future.But even that has proven a hard sell.Talks to hammer out the lion’s share of the conference’s outcome document have failed. The U.N. announced on May 5 that a last-ditch round of negotiations has been scheduled after two previous ones yielded a rambling, repetitive text.A U.N. statement quoted Rio+20 Secretary General Sha Zukung slamming the text as “a far cry from the ‘focused political document’” called for.Source: Washington Post

Do you think that the Rio 2012 UN Summit is losing credibility with the absences of Obama and Cameron?

What goals do you think can be achieved at the summit? Or will it be just another talk fest like Copenhagen a few years back?

If Obama does pull out to focus on his re-election campaign domestically do you think this is the correct decision? What message does this send to the world about his efforts for climate change?

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