Global Climate Change Summit Ends With Agreement to Agree, Actual National Plans Falling Far Short, and Some California Coups
Once the cheering, perhaps as much a matter of relief for at last having the beginnings of a real agreement as anything else, dies down, a process of years-long pressuring, prodding, chivvying, and inspiring will take place. Or, perhaps better put, it had damn well better take place if this planet is going to remain habitable for humanity.
PINCs -- Partnerships, Initiatives, Networks, and Coalitions -- are a key element of the "new architecture" for a "new world" that Hillary Clinton called for in her farewell speech as secretary of state.
Women Leave Rio+20 Motivated to Galvanize Sustainability Around Family Planning and Reproductive Rights
The Rio+20 outcome document -- though 49 pages long and consisting of 23,917 words -- mentions women in less than 0.01 percent of the entire text.
What do mushrooms, tires and soda bottles have in common? They are all being used, recycled or even upcycled through innovative programs that prevent waste from entering the environment.
Already low expectations for the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference of the United Nations fell through the ocean floor in the last several days. The mood here is as gray as the Brazilian winter. People are taking to calling this "Rio -", not "Rio+."
Ocean ecosystems and health have been in a state of decline for quite some time, but we have not appreciated or acknowledged how this decline will affect future generations' access to food, livelihoods, safe coastal places to live, cultural identity and other benefits.
Among the countries weakening the text was that former environmental leader: Canada. But inspiration also comes from Canada.
Here at Rio+20, it's clearer than ever that we all must play our part to protect our oceans and the planet. Whether you work in government, business, or civil society, we all must make decisions today that will create the future we want.
A "Twitter storm" raged on the Internet as hundreds of thousands of people around the world -- including EU commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard and celebrities such as NRDC trustee Robert Redford -- flooded the Web with #EndFossilFuelSubsidies tweets.
"I have this feeling that we're never going to lose. We're going to win; it's just going to take a while. This is all just part of a large, long haul and the world is a complicated place. I mean, we've been using fossil fuels now for hundreds of years. It's going to take a few years to get off of it."
We should not be subsidizing the destruction of our planet. Fossil fuels are literally cooking our planet, polluting our air and draining our wallets. Why should we continue to reward companies to do that?
What if I told you that governments around the world were spending almost $1 trillion dollars a year to subsidize activities that are driving global warming?
I now have even greater hope that this Earth Summit will be important and historic. But we will have to be able to see how much has changed since the 1992 summit and what is really going on in Rio and the world.
We know how to fish better, reduce pollution, and revive marine life. The question is: will we put these solutions in place? Will our leaders do what it takes to scale up smart strategies and set real, lasting recovery in motion?