The recent failure of the Rio+20 conference to agree on a real and just framework to reverse the environmental crises we face was the latest in a series of unsuccessful UN conferences, including the yearly international climate talks.

Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International, reflected on the 20 years prior to Rio+20, saying: “What were middle-of-the-road ideas at the Rio Summit in 1992 are now considered radical. Governments this week have done all they can to retreat from what they agreed on then.”

Australia went to Rio+20 with the objective of using aid money to promote ‘sustainable mining’ as the key to poverty alleviation and blocked plans to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

The European Union tried to impose a corporate-driven ‘green economy’ agenda, where water, carbon and biodiversity are commodified and traded on global financial markets.

The United States refused to explicitly reaffirm the core Rio principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’, which recognises the unequal contribution of Global North and South to climate, water, food and biodiversity crises.

But, alongside the official Rio+20 Conference, over 200 NGOs and tens of thousands of activists came together to promote climate justice, food sovereignty and human rights at the People’s Summit. 500,000 people marched through the streets of Rio against the weak Rio+20 Declaration.

Join Friends of the Earth Sydney and AID/WATCH to hear speakers that attended the official Rio+20 conference and the People’s Summit reflect on what went wrong and discussion on how we should engage with UN conferences on climate and environment in the future.

Can we, as FoE International suggests, reclaim the UN from corporate capture with democratic participation? What should we demand of the Australian Government? Or do we need alternatives to international negotiations to achieve global environmental justice?

When: Wednesday 18 July, 6pm

Where: Newtown Neighbourhood Centre,

1 Bedford Street, Newtown, New South Wales 2042
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