Caroline Spelman’s Rio+20 diary: first days in Rio
Caroline Spelman is in Rio for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, 20 years after the Rio Earth Summit and 40 years on from the Stockholm Conference of 1972 – two of history’s most significant environmental meetings. Throughout the week she is providing a daily diary of her activities and what is happening at the conference.
The Rio Earth Summit gave rise to many of the policy measures that underpin global environmental co-operation today. Rio+20 will look to continue and enhance this legacy, with high-level ministerial negotiations taking place from the 20th to 22nd June. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is leading the UK delegation, accompanied by Caroline Spelman and supported by officials from Defra, DFID, the Cabinet Office, the FCO and BIS.
First days in Rio
In the first entries to her daily diary from Rio+20 Caroline Spelman sets out her hopes for the conference, explains the workings of the negotiations and describes meetings and visits.
June 15: The Rio+20 summit is finally upon us, after more than a year of planning – Tonight I board the plane to Rio de Janeiro, ready to begin talks over the weekend to get us in the best possible position for a successful outcome.
“I believe Rio+20 is an incredibly important opportunity which we cannot miss to make progress on putting the world on the right path to a greener and more sustainable future. If we want to be the first generation to leave the planet in a better shape for future generations than the one we inherited, we need to start taking action now.” Read the full entry…
June 17: On my first day at Rio+20 I’ve met some inspiring people – A busy first day at Rio+20 and meeting the British youth delegation and visiting ‘The Peoples’ Summit’ was inspiring.
“Meeting all these people reminded me why Rio+20 is so important. The issues that we are discussing at the summit affect us all and will affect our children unless we take action now. I now feel even more invigorated to push for a good outcome in the negotiations ahead.” Read the full entry…
June 18: A new Rio+20 agreement text arrives; first trip to impressive conference centre – The Brazilians published a new agreement text late last night and our team stayed up to go through it to see how it measured up.
“I’m pleased to say that the UK’s main targets – an agreement to create new Sustainable Development Goals, broader measurements of a nation’s progress than just GDP to include their natural and social capital, and more reporting on the sustainability performance of businesses – all remain in the text.” Read the full entry…
June 18: Tijuca Forest shows why sustainable development is so important – I visit Tijuca Forest outside Rio de Janeiro, the world’s first reforestation project, and negotiations on the final text continue.
“The forest is a great example of what we mean by sustainable development. It’s not an easy phrase to bring to life, but seeing the forest and the abundance of wildlife it is home to is something that everyone can see is worth protecting.” Read the full entry…
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