Life After Rio: A commentary by Mark Halle, IISD

June 2012

June 23 and the planet continues its slow decline, uninterrupted by the sustainable development summit that has just finished in Rio. Yet another UN mega-conference ends in disappointment, the low expectations fully justified. Once again, our governments have failed to demonstrate leadership, have lacked courage to make the compromises necessary to ensure a fairer, more
stable world. Once again they have kept their eyes riveted on short-term electoral deadlines and sold out future generations. We have come to a sorry pass.

When, two years ago, the UN decided to hold this conference, there was no particular reason for it except that the twentieth anniversary of the original Earth Summit was looming. There were plenty of general reasons, including the fact that most of the decisions taken in 1992 have been ignored, most of the agreed actions never taken, and the planet has continued to decline.

But nothing suggested that the necessary political will could be mustered to take transformative steps, to agree game-changing resolutions, or even to stimulate implementation of the myriad decisions, resolutions and undertakings that were made in Rio in 1992 or in the two decades since. (…)

Read the whole text here.