Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable
development is over. The conference declaration, titled "The Future We
Want," is a weak and meaningless
document. It aims at the lowest common denominator consensus to say it all, but
to say nothing consequential about how the world will move ahead to deal with
the interlinked crises of economy and ecology. Is this the future we want or
the future we dread?
The final document is being touted as a victory for the developing world, in particular, for
it reiterates the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. This
guiding principle, hammered out following much acrimony in 1992, establishes
the differentiation of action of different parts of the world. It is clearly
not negotiable. So in that respect, Rio 2012 is a
move ahead. But is this enough? India
The second key aim was to establish the concept of green economy and to use sustainable development goals -- not unlike Millennium Development Goals -- to measure performance against green targets. This agenda was soon lost to geopolitical tectonic shifts, where the rich world is declining and the poor world is ascending.
The very idea of green economy was viewed as a new form of green protectionism and conditionality that would hinder growth. In the final
the agenda has been tied up in convoluted wordings that will make progress