Green economy a key sticking point in Rio+20 talks

    Photo by: Philippe Put / CC BY

    Negotiations for the outcome document of an upcoming major U.N. conference have hit a snag as developing and developed countries failed yet again to bridge differences after two rounds of talks.

    Among the sticking points was on the concept of green economy – one of the key themes of the conference.

    Developing countries “remain very skeptical in relation to the green economy,” Franz Perrez, head of the Swiss delegation to preparatory talks for the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, has observed. He has also noted differences in countries’ concept of sustainable development, as well as a lack of strong “desire to engage in a serious quest for solutions on fundamental issues.”

    For their part, developing countries want to ensure that any green economy approach included in the document would not compromise growth or hinder poverty eradication efforts.

    The latest negotiations on the outcome of the U.N. conference ended May 4 in New York with a draft that Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang said was still too long and repetitive.

    At least one agreement did come out of the latest negotiations: To hold a third round of talks between May 19 and June 2. This round will focus on a new negotiating text to be prepared by co-chairs of the Rio +20 Preparatory Committee. It will also include changes in the procedures of the talks. The main goal of these negotiations is to prepare at least 90 percent of the Rio+20 outcome document ahead of the actual conference, which will be held June 20-22 in Brazil. Among potential highlights of the document are inclusive growth, social well-being, and a new set of sustainable development goals.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.