Rio+20: Agreement reached but plans remain unclear

Negotiators have agreed a text, calling for "urgent action" on unsustainable production and consumption, to be approved by world leaders meeting this week in Rio to consider the worsening state of the global environment.

The Rio+20 gathering comes 20 years after the Earth Summit, also held in the Brazilian city, but it gives no detail or direction on how to achieved putting humanity on a more sustainable pathway, including alleviating poverty.

Friends of the Earth's director of policy and campaigns, Craig Bennett, in Rio, said: "This damp squib of a draft negotiating text makes it clear the Rio talks lack the firepower needed to solve the global emergency we're facing.

"Developed countries have repeatedly failed to live safely within our planet's limits - now they must wake up to the fact that until we fix our broken economic system we're just papering over the ever-widening cracks."

More than 100 world leaders are expected in Rio from Wednesday to attend the summit.

They include new French President Francois Hollande, but not US President Barack Obama, or British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who are all sending ministers in their places.

Environmental groups have been quick off the mark to criticise the text which they regard as lacking any meaningful substance.

It does however reaffirm many past commitments, such as phasing out "harmful and inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies.


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