Draft agreement reached at Rio+20

The 180 nations gathered in Rio+20 have reached a draft agreement on a plan of action, according to UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman. Writing from Rio de Janeiro yesterday, where […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The 180 nations gathered in Rio+20 have reached a draft agreement on a plan of action, according to UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.

Writing from Rio de Janeiro yesterday, where she is part of the UK’s delegation at the UN conference, Ms Spelman admitted some will be “disappointed” there isn’t more in the agreement, called ‘The Future We Want’.

She wrote on her blog for Defra: “Clearly not everything we hoped for has been agreed and there is more to do to turn the words into actions. But the future we want was never going to be achieved in one week. We have to go one step at a time, and this has been a big step forward.”

The draft is the text international leaders will be working on over the next few days of the conference which gets into full swing today.

It sets out progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a drive to get more businesses reporting on their sustainability performance and recognition from countries of the importance of measuring natural and social capital as signs of progress alongside GDP.

Not all have greeted the draft with open arms – WWF damned the negotiating text as a “colossal failure of leadership and vision”.

WWF Director General Jim Leape said late yesterday: “If they [world leaders] approve what’s on the table now without significant changes, they’ve doomed Rio+20 to ridicule… World leaders ‘recognised’ problems 20 years ago, and they’ve done little about them since. How long are we going to accept ‘we’ll look into it’ as a solution?”