Civil Society groups have walked out of the official Rio+20 talks in protest of the failure of the key negotiators to listen to the calls for a conference which adequately addresses the key issues of sustainable development, with Bill McKibben tweeting "Walkout beginning. Proud to be part of 350, a youth-led movement "
After a three hour sit in, at least 100 representatives have turned in their official UN badges because "the future we want is not here."
Word from the ground is that the group is walking towards the People's Summit, the alternative meeting whose focus is on the rights of indigenous peoples, nature and environmental justice.
McKibben, removed about an hour ago from "The Future We Bought" demonstration, tweeted before the march began:
"I've listened to endless green leaders say youth should lead, well see in a little while who follows #riofail"
"World leaders have delivered something that fails to move the world forward from the first Rio summit, showing up with empty promises and empty pockets at Rio+20" says Mariana Calderon, a young woman from California. "This text is a polluters plan, and unless leaders start listening to the people, history will remember it as a failure for the people and the planet."
You cannot have a document titled ‘the future we want’ without any mention of planetary boundaries, tipping points, or the Earth’s carrying capacity. The text as it stands is completely out of touch with reality. Just to be clear, NGOs here in Rio in no way endorse this document. Already more than 1,000 organisations and individuals have signed in only one day a petition called “The Future We Don’t Want” that completely refuses the current text. It does not in any way reflect our aspiration, and therefore we demand that the words “in full participation with civil society” are removed from the first paragraph.Here are some of the sample tweets offered, all using the hashtag #riofail
I’m calling on world leaders to stop the #RioFail by (bringing forward solutions being called for by civil society / ending handouts to big polluters / enshrining fundamental rights / building a pathway to a just, sustainable future)
Politicians may be able to live with #RioFail, but the people won’t.
As it stands, this is a #RioFail for the people, the planet, and our generation.
Stop #RioFail by putting the interests of the people and planet ahead of the interests of polluters.
#RioFail has been hijacked by big polluters, profits, and the governments who negotiate on their behalf.
#RioFail isn’t a failure of the UN, but a success for the corporate polluter lobby.
Real leaders listen to the people, not polluters. (insert leader name/twitter account here) stop a #RioFail!
(Insert Name of world leader) put your money where your mouth is and stop the #RioFail
The Guardian continues to be the finest source for breaking news and commentary on the conference. Their Thursday liveblog
And in today's Adbuster's blog, Prometheans vs. Soterians, Clive Hamilton analyses how the nuances in diplomatic language in the fields of science and the environment have shifted since the first 1992 summit to emphasize "technocratic and corporate thinking dangerously changing our relation to the Earth."
Thinking like an Earth system engineer has insinuated itself into unexpected places: Achim Steiner, the chief of the UN’s environment program and a man who will play a key role at Rio+20, has called on world leaders to “better manage the planet.” The new Earth System Governance Project, a consortium of concerned scientists, argues that Rio+20 should establish new institutions of global governance, which are undoubtedly needed, but it slides unnoticed into a call for “Earth system governance,” which is quite a different proposition.Resource: Building the People's Summit
Many of those who have begun to speak of planetary management use the language of engineering metaphorically. But others are deadly serious. Lowell Wood, the legendary Pentagon weaponeer and pioneer of sulphate aerosol spraying, has declared: “We’ve engineered every other environment we live in, why not the planet?”
7.21pm: Twitter seems to be behaving again. Here are those protest pictures (see 5.34pm update). We'll have a story from Watts on the speeches very shortly:
Craig Bennett @CraigBennett3
Big protest by Peoples' Assembly going on in convention center #rioplus20 pic.twitter.com/dteID1Z1
People Plenary at #RioPlus20 - the people are taking over! Great to finally see action. Security around. pic.twitter.com/WF3GhOX0
21 Jun 12
7.18pm: Environmental NGOs have been ratcheting up their rhetoric at what they perceive as a weak draft text adopted on Tuesday, Liz Ford reports:
Daniel Mittler, political director of Greenpeace, said: "The epic failure of Rio+20 was a reminder [that] short-term corporate profit rules over the interests of people." He said the outcome of the conference was "nothing short of disastrous", as governments came offering no money or commitments to action.
"They say they can't put money on the table because of the economic crisis, but they spend money on greedy banks and on saving those who caused the crisis. They spend $1 trillion a year on subsidies for fossil fuels and then tell us they don't have any money to give to sustainable development."
Lasse Gustavsson, executive director for conservation at WWF, said two years of "sophisticated UN diplomacy has given us nothing more than more poverty, more conflict and more environmental destruction". He said WWF had participated in numerous preparatory committee meetings in the runup to Rio, but there was very little to show from its efforts.
6.23pm: Looks like McKibben might get kicked out of Rio+20 for that 'unsanctioned action' (see 5.34pm update)
We (mostly youth) been sitting in for an hour at the UN rio meeting. Security threatening to kick us out. Good energy! #riofail
Take a look at this .... hmmm
12:17 PM PT: Bill McKibben @billmckibben
I've listened to endless green leaders say youth should lead, well see in a little while who follows #riofail
12:36 PM PT: Jun. 21, 2012 at 3:33pm
The fossil fuel lobby, by changing the conversation, radically changes the outcome of conferences like Rio+20, and therefore, the future we will live to see. When they obstruct progress, the whole planet loses. We can’t afford to lose. Let’s start winning, together.
— Adam Greenberg
12:44 PM PT: Rio+20 protesters perform 'ritual rip-up' of negotiated text
Anger rises at Rio Earth summit, as raucous demo focuses on Future We Want text that 'moves us forward by inches'
1:26 PM PT: #riofail trending on twitter. Reports of more walkouts @ top of hour!
4:16 PM PT: Rio+20 Breaking News: GJEP and Biofuelwatch disrupt Richard Branson at industry event
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil–Activists from Global Justice Ecology Project and Biofuelwatch disrupted Sir Branson’s speech with chants and placards at the Rio+20 Earth Summit event titled “Advancing Public-Private Partnerships for Deforestation-Free / Sustainable Agriculture” today at the Windsor Barra hotel in Rio.