Rio+20 Draft Document Does Not Get Us Where We Need To Go

RIO DE JANEIRO (June 19, 2012) – Negotiators at the Rio+20 Earth Summit today completed the final draft of a declaration intended to address growing global environmental and sustainability issues. The document produced today will be presented for adoption by more than 130 presidents, prime ministers, and other top leaders who are scheduled to arrive here on Wednesday.

The following is a statement from Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke:

 “On a planet that’s now home to 7 billion people, facing ever-increasing threats to our environment and to our future, this document simply does not get us to where we need to go.

“Of course a strong international declaration to address these issues would be beneficial. But fortunately, what we have seen here in Rio is real energy among the 50,000 attendees, as well as hundreds of individual commitments by countries, communities and corporations to take real actions to address environmental and sustainability issues.

“What we can’t accomplish with documents, hopefully we can accomplish with real commitments to action like these.”

In the document, negotiators delayed taking real action to address the growing threats to marine life in international waters.

Lisa Speer, director of NRDC’s International oceans program, made the following statement:

“The positive steps contained in the text on plastic pollution, ocean acidification, fishing subsidies and overfishing - if vigorously implemented - will help reverse the decline of our oceans.

“We are exceedingly disappointed that no decision was reached to negotiate a new agreement for the conservation and management of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. But the acknowledged urgency for moving forward on this critical biodiversity issue is at least a step forward.”