By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has used her speech at the opening ceremony of the Rio+20 Earth Summit – the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – to call on developed nations to contribute more funds to finance sustainable development. Current pledges have not yet reached the levels deemed necessary for the work required in funding change and helping developing nations to reach their own targets.
As she was sworn in as the official President of Rio+20, Rousseff reminded the developed world that it had shirked many of its responsibilities on sustainability, and that developing countries would need help alongside their own obligations.
Reference was also made to the fact that targets for reducing greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol had not been met, and that many other promises made at the original Rio Earth Summit in 1992 remain on the drawing board.
“We have the responsibility to history and to our people to make Rio+20 a moment to make commitments for the future we want,” President Rousseff said, warning that the current state of the global economy meant that governments would likely shy away from making ambitious and binding agreements, but that they “cannot let that happen.”
Brazil’s official Rio+20 negotiators have worked tirelessly over the past few days to reach a more unified position on the Outcome Document that will be signed at the end of the summit on Friday.
Along with vows to eradicate poverty, better preserve our oceans, and to use innovative technology to boost green economies in order to improve sustainable development around the world, diplomats at Rio+20 also want to recognize economies in a more complete way, as they say GDP figures are now insufficient to measure a country’s wealth, and do not take sustainability into account.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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