U.N. pitches Rio+20 talks as a departure from political strife over climate change

This summer’s sustainable development conference in Brazil, known as Rio+20, is emerging as an overt attempt by U.N. officials to shift away from the divisive politics of climate change to a broader debate on the green economy and how to bring it to developing nations.

On the heels of arguably little movement on an international climate pact during U.N.-sponsored talks in South Africa, Mexico and Denmark, officials here now say they view Rio+20 as a way to get past intractable policy fights between developed and developing nations over greenhouse gas emissions cuts, to focus on core issues like trade and technology.

The head of Brazil’s delegation during the most recent talks, in Durban, South Africa, last week made it clear that his role in the Rio de Janeiro conference will be to press the conversation elsewhere. Sustainable development as part of an emerging new economy, not climate change, will be the featured attraction this summer, in what appears to be a directed strategy to enter new territory during U.N. negotiations.

“Climate change … has very strong resistance from sectors that are going to be substantially altered, like the oil industry,” Ambassador Andre Correa do Lago said. “Sustainable development is something that is as simple as looking at how we would like to be in 10 or 20 years.”

The diplomat went on to admit that the political situation in the United States is a key concern, as contenders for the Republican nomination to the White House have vied with each other over the past year to distance themselves from policies to trim greenhouse gases. Add to that Capitol Hill’s failure to deal with warming, as well as discord with more advanced developing nations like China and India, and what seems to be emerging here is a strong desire for a new approach.

Enter what they hope will be the new angle: Rio+20. The new tack in strategy was evident last week during a U.N. workshop on Rio, where senior U.N. trade officials met to start hashing through their “zero draft” document for trade proposals that could be on the table this summer.

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3 responses to “U.N. pitches Rio+20 talks as a departure from political strife over climate change

  1. What’s to debate? Green economies don’t work. Carbon based economies do work. End of story.

  2. Same goal — world domination by an intergovernmental body — but a different approach. But not all that different. First hint: *Intergovernmental* Panel on Climate Change. And here’s a choice bit from the article: “looking at how we would like to be in 10 or 20 years.” It’s inventing trends, all over again. What’s more, the intergovernmental bodies will be aligned with the ‘green’ agenda. That’s nothing new.

    What’s really cool is that ‘sustainability’ is already a big, highly profitable, international cash generator for ‘green’ NGOs — primarily the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The business model is quite simple. The greens target an industry , such as the palm oil industry, for disruption and financial ruin. The WWF steps forward and offers an option: certification that members of the industry is following guidelines on sustainability. Those not following NGO guidelines are squeezed out. The WWF gets governance of an industry, and gets to levy what looks like a tax on members of the industry. After all, monitoring for compliance, etc. has to be paid for somehow. International governance can be backed up by existing international law on copyright. This is done by creating a unique logo which appears on certification labels, etc. for sustainable products. False/improper use of the logo/trademark is an infringement of the copyright/trademark rights and subject to sanctions.

    Really a sweet deal for the greens, and the WWF’s ‘business’ model shows how international governance via sustainability can work as well as, or better than, the CO2 fraud. Claims of global warming or environmental disruption via carbon dioxide can be refuted by data. How do you refute sustainability? Imagining what the world will look like 20 years after the latest summit on sustainability is an unassailable moving target. The whole scheme is elegant, in a way.

  3. “Greening” is intended to optimize an economy for efficiency, especially with respect to energy consumption. This is a futile effort when applied to a country that does not even have a stable economy, or one which lacks a reliable energy infrastructure.
    It reminds me of the classic recipe for Rabbit Stew, which begins with “First you catch a rabbit…”

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