The EU just passed a non-binding resolution proposing a common EU position in anticipation of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.
The EU’s position is incredibly holistic, reflecting integrated proposals for expanding environmental governance while protecting fundamental human rights and expanding the role of civil society. Reading between the lines, the EU’s top concern for the future of sustainable development seems to be that the overwhelming emphasis on green economic strategies is drastically undermining equally important systems of governance, fairness, and rights.
For example, “Concerning the focus given to the ‘green economy’ as one of the two main themes of the Summit, [the European Parliament] insists that a ‘green economy’ be understood as the entire economy functioning within the limits of sustainability in respect to biodiversity, maintaining ecosystem services, climate protection and use of natural resources; stresses that more focus should be given to human, environmental and natural capital and that sustainable development is more than just green economy….”
Also, the EU’s text highlights the role of equity in emerging institutions governing sustainable development. For example,
“[The European Parliament] [u]nderlines that equity is the foundation stone of the paradigm shift which needs to be achieved and that this should be assured on a global scale, thus enabling less and least developed countries, with the help of developed countries, to tunnel under the normal development curve and to emerge at a higher status in terms of human well-being, but also in the form of intra-country equity and intergenerational equity….”
Finally, with regard to adaptation and climate justice: “[The European Parliament”] [e]mphasises that the fair and equitable access to, and distribution of, resources for present and future generations is a crucial precondition for development and poverty eradication, and that developing countries, as well as regional and local authorities, should be enabled to profit from their natural resources in the most sustainable and inclusive way; stresses that it is paramount that all countries participate in this in order to create sustainable societies; highlights that the poorest countries and the poorest segments of the world’s population will be most affected by the impacts of climate change and thus need support for adaptation, especially to take into account the needs and knowledge of women and the most vulnerable populations….”
Read the rest here.
We say, Bravo!