RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – We knew the Rio+20 event was going to be big news for us, and have put a lot of focus into making our June Print Edition (which comes out May 31st) full of information about the conference and how it affects Rio and Brazil. For those unfamiliar with our publication, we’ll have plenty more news as the month progresses in our weekly Online edition, and also our daily updates – which you can subscribe for and have sent directly to your email.
The conference has been exciting on several levels, for Rio it is a warm up or trial run for hosting mega-events, as in just two years the World Cup will be in Brazil, with the final match hosted in Rio. From security to infrastructure the pressure is on to see how the Cidade Maravilhosa handles it.
For Brazil and the world, it is a landmark event to make progress on a collective approach to protecting the environment and improving our chances of not turning our future into The Matrix. Brazil especially has a lot to gain as it balances economic growth and energy development, while protecting the Amazon and improving standards of living.
The Rio+20 approach has also been exciting for me personally, as although I am not an active activist, my roots are tied to the cause. I grew up in Vermont (which for many says it all), and my cousin Jeffrey Hollender is a renowned authority in the topic.
Jeffrey launched a company named Seventh Generation (where I did an internship during my university years), has authored several books and is a prominent speaker at events from Stanford to MIT. As the event approached we reached out to Jeffrey and he was nice enough to be available to The Rio Times for comment.
We hope to get a lot more of his insight as the Rio+20 progresses, but for some initial input we had asked him to contribute to an article on the overall agenda and outlook of the event, here is what he told us.
“In 1992, more than a hundred world leaders showed up for the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The event was highlighted by the signing of two groundbreaking treaties on climate change and biodiversity and declarations about creating a green and equitable world.”
“The following two decades have been a huge disappointment with the U.S. consistently failing to live up to its commitments. George W. Bush effectively broke the climate treaty signed by his father, refusing to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol.”
“As we approach the Rio+20 the world is facing a climate crisis and the agenda for the meetings fails to deal with other critical issues such as the rights of poor people to manage their own land and their forests. We need to do better and I’m not optimistic.”
The Rio Times will be covering the progress, in terms of the event activity, the political implications for Rio and Brazil, as well as the impact to those living or visiting here. Stay tuned for more.