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Rio+20 and the crisis of sustainable development

In 1992, at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, governments made powerful commitments to sustainable development, producing the landmark United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biodiversity and the Agenda 21. Yet almost twenty years after Rio, our planet is confronted with unprecedented ecological and socio-economic crises. A dangerously warming climate from the continuous build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is resulting in rising sea levels and massive weather disturbances – aggravating livelihood, food and water insecurity for the world’s poor; and a recent global financial and economic meltdown has thrown hundreds of millions of people below the poverty threshold.

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COVER STORY

Rio+20: Addressing the Crisis in Sustainable Development
Author: Athena Peralta

Rio and back In 1992, at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, governments made powerful commitments to sustainable development, producing the landmark United Nations Framework Convention on ...

Talking about an energy and jobs revolution
Author: Kumi Naidoo

Revolutionising the way we produce and distribute energy could curb greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and help fight poverty. It is time to replace the fossil fuel monopoly with decentralised ...

Havana harvest: Organic agriculture in Cuba’s capital
By Mickey Ellinger and Scott Braley

We are looking at the end of (relatively) cheap oil, food and transportation, crises that have already had a devastating impact on Third World nations and communities of color. These ...


SPECIAL FEATURE

Transition towns: The art of resilience
By Rowenna Davis

Before corporate globalization crashed, the transition towns movement had already started making waves on a more human, local scale. Rowenna Davis reports on the ‘engaged optimism’ that looks for positive ...

A Different Kind of Ownership Society
By Marjorie Kelly, Shanna Ratner

Innovative strategies for cooperative local ownership make it possible for prosperity to be shared as well as sustainable. Drive across southern Minnesota near the city of Luverne, and you'll see ...

Food and Climate: A Tale of Two Crises
By Rosario Bella Guzman

Corporate agriculture is failing to feed the world. This short statement should be enough to summarize the global food crisis – that it is not entirely about supply-demand equations but ...


NEWS

Biodiversity Convention adopts landmark decisions
By Chee Yoke Ling

Governments that are Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) concluded a two-week meeting in Nagoya, Japan on 29 October by adopting more than 40 decisions, of which ...

WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord
By Damian Carrington

Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord.

Baby Steps Made at Climate Summit Pale in Comparison to the Change Needed
By Tina Gerhardt

Cancún, Mexico - As the sun rose over Cancún early Saturday morning, an agreement was reached at the COP 16. Nations lauded the work of the Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia ...


STATEMENT

Compromise Trumps Justice and Science
IBON International

Despite the optimism placed on them, the Cancun Agreements of the 2010 UN Climate Summit do not represent a success for multilateralism; neither do they put the world on a ...


BOOK REVIEW

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pic
by John Carey, The Sunday Times

This is a book with a big idea, big enough to change political thinking, and bigger than its authors at first intended. The problem they originally set out to solve ...


FACTS AND FIGURES

Crude oil production peaked - four years ago

We may not have noticed, but in 2006, world crude oil production reached 70 mbd (million barrels per day), a peak it is expected never to return to. This information ...

Global CO2 emissions will have to drop to zero by 2050.

Not only that: CO2 emissions will have to peak in 2011, and then drop ata staggeringly rapid rate of about 10% per year.