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Rio green summit dismissed as hoax that achieved nothing

Published on The Independent website on Saturday 23rd June 2012
By Michael Mccarthy

The UN’s Rio Plus 20 summit on sustainable development ended yesterday amid a torrent of criticism from environment and development campaigners, who said the colossal, three-day international meeting had achieved nothing.

More than 50,000 policy-makers, environmentalists and business leaders from around the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro for a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the celebrated “Earth Summit”. But in contrast to the 1992 meeting, which saw the signature of the important UN treaties on climate change and biodiversity, Rio Plus 20 led to no agreements which would make any difference to the world, campaigners said.

Instead, they alleged that the final document, entitled “The Future We Want”, was merely a set of platitudes with no targets or timetables for action to spur green growth, which is the sustainable development objective.

“Rio will go down as the hoax summit. They came, they talked, but they failed to act,” said Barbara Stocking, the chief executive of Oxfam.

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