Eurozone crisis and US presidential race ‘damaged Rio+20 prospects’

‘Mother of sustainability’ Gro Harlem Brundtland laments the absence of Barack Obama and David Cameron from the summit

Brundtland is a seriously looney dipstick so afraid of modernity she believes people’s cell phones “attack her mind”. She’s been trying to strangle capitalism, wealth creation, improving living standards, resource utilization and development for decades.

Building a global consensus on sustainability is becoming increasingly difficult as a result of economic crises and a US political climate that is increasingly hostile to action on climate change, according to Gro Harlem Brundtland, one of the chief architects of the first Rio Earth summit in 1992.

The former Norwegian prime minister lamented the absence of Barack Obama, David Cameron and many other leaders from the follow-up Rio+20 conference currently taking place in Brazil, but said they faced circumstances that are very different from those of the 1992 summit.

“The absences are not good and they don’t look good. One explanation is the terrible difficulties in Europe. The Europeans would normally feel like they should be here,” she told the Guardian. “The financial and economic problems that some countries face don’t make it easier for them to agree on things that they would have agreed to before 2008.”

In the US, she saw a worrying decline in political support for environmental issues. “The election scene is an obvious factor in the decision by Obama not to be here. The climate issue on the American scene has been really difficult for years and in many ways it is worse now than three or four years ago. The Republican right – the Tea party, etc – are building around climate denial. In that sense, the American scene is deteriorating on these issues.”

Bruntland was speaking on the sidelines of the Rio+20 conference, prior to UN member states accepting a draft agreement that was widely criticised for setting inadequate targets to draw the global economy off an environmentally destructive path.

Bruntland said she could understand why people felt disillusioned and why many participants felt powerless, but she said strong action was needed to offset a degree of environmental decline that is pushing at planetary boundaries — with an impact on food security and commodity prices.

“We are not going to get out of the crisis without turning some stones and taking seriously the need to create jobs and make changes. Forward-looking leaders should be taking that on board to create a sustainable development model instead of digging down and not daring to take initiatives with a longer-term perspective.”


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One response to “Eurozone crisis and US presidential race ‘damaged Rio+20 prospects’

  1. “Building a global consensus on sustainability is becoming increasingly difficult as a result of economic crises”

    And the economic crisis is the result of sustainability.

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