Published June 22, 2012 06:35 AM

Rio+20 closing statement – opportunity to act on a sustainable future lost

With negotiations at an end, WWF Director General Jim Leape today issued the following closing statement about the Rio+20 summit:


“This was a conference about life: about future generations; about the forests, oceans, rivers and lakes that we all depend on for our food, water and energy. It was a conference to address the pressing challenge of building a future that can sustain us.

Unfortunately, the world leaders who gathered here lost sight of that urgent purpose.

With too few countries prepared to press for action, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff chose to drive a process with no serious content — to the planet’s detriment.”

“The result is a squandered opportunity – an agreement that does not set the world on a path toward sustainable development.

The urgency to act, however, has not changed. And the good news is that sustainable development is a plant that has taken root; it will grow regardless of weak political leadership here. We did see leaders stepping up in Rio, it was just not in the negotiations.

There is exciting leadership happening in communities, cities, governments and companies that are laying the foundation to protect our environment, alleviate poverty, and move us toward a more sustainable planet.”


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