WWF, ITUC appeal to Dilma to save faltering Rio+20 negotiations

Posted on June, 18 2012

WWF and the International Trade Union Confederation are urging Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to step in and save the faltering Rio+20 negotiations.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:  WWF and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) are urging Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to step in and save the faltering Rio+20 negotiations.

Deliberations – currently being led by host country Brazil – are falling flat and have produced a very weak negotiating document, eliminating any urgency around the need for sustainable development, WWF and ITUC said.

With only a week to save face and produce a strong outcome in Rio+20, WWF and ITUC are asking President Rousseff to use her influence as leader of the negotiations’ host country to reinvigorate the process and tell her Brazil delegation to pressure negotiators to deliver results.

“The planet is running out of time – yet leaders are answering with weak words that don't even come close to the kind of commitments we need to ensure people everywhere have access to clean water, food, and energy,” said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International. “The current negotiating text may be called ‘the future we need’, but it certainly doesn’t have the commitments we need. There is still time for leaders to step up - and we need Dilma to lead the way."

Central to the discussions at Rio is the need to address the inter-linkages between food, water and energy. Rapid economic development and per-capita consumption around the world is burning up more natural resources than are available. With demands for food, water and energy continuing to rise - particularly in rapidly developing nations including Brazil and China - the inertia on show now at Rio is putting the future of the planet at risk - along with the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.  
Decent and green jobs

General Secretary of the ITUC Sharan Burrow says the current Rio text does not even come close to addressing desperately needed action that will ensure the creation of decent and green jobs and social protection for all. Recent ITUC research shows that 48 million jobs could be directly created in 12 countries if green investment was lifted to 2 per cent of national GDP every year, over the next five years.

"Governments must agree on concrete actions that will translate as binding agreements and that will ensure the eradication of poverty, respect for social and trade union rights, and the protection of the environment", said Sharan Burrow. "We must come out of Rio with a clear commitment to social protection for all by 2030 and the necessary resources to implement it in the poorest countries. Without these concrete commitments, as the foundations for a new model of development, we will leave Rio with worse than "business as usual", it will be a huge opportunity lost".

 WWF and the ITUC believe Rio+20 can be a success if Parties commit to:
  • Deliver a strong political mandate and inclusive process to develop Sustainable Development Goals to 2030 in a single-track approach with the post-2015 MDG framework, with key areas on food, water, energy, decent work and social protection named.
  • Develop national indicators to measure environmental performance that are clear and comparable internationally
  • Recognize the value of natural wealth by integrating social and environmental costs into policy and decision making.
  • Launch a strategy on sustainable employment, aimed at reducing unemployment, eliminating precarious work and creating decent and green jobs.
  • Launch a global social protection programme that takes into account the three pillars of sustainable development and aims at achieving universal coverage by 2030.
  • Launch as soon as possible negotiations of an implementing agreement to United Nation Convention on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) to address sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
  • Means to implement the above commitments according to common but differentiated responsibilities
For more information contact:

WWF: Chris Chaplin, WWF International, cchaplin@wwf.sg, + 65 9826 3802

ITUC: Alex Praça alexandre.praca@csa-csi.org tel. +55 11 2104 0771 fax +55 11 2104 0751
In Brazil, 40 million people have limited or no access to drinking water and sanitation services. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
© WWF / Nigel Dickinson