I have been writing extensively on the upcoming Rio+20 conference and the likeliness that it won’t bring the solutions we want. (Read: The Sword of Damocles for an overview). The UN gives us an opportunity to tell them what should be on the agenda for the 3 days conference on sustainable development. It’s called “Vote for the Future you Want”. Brittany Trilford famously said in her speech: “I’d just be happy to have a future“ but we can take it further than that.
The interface the UN has created to let us voice our biggest concerns is a collection of 100 different issues from which you can choose. Some of them have been submitted by NGOs. AVAAZ, 350 and many more organizations have submitted the following proposal: “to end nearly $1 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies and reinvest that money cleanly and greenly”.
The proposals are divided into 10 categories from “Unemployment, Decent work and Migration” to “Sustainable Cities and Innovation” or “Oceans” and “Forests”. You can pick as many ideas you’d like them to talk about as you want – but you won’t like them all I can promise you. There is for example “put a price-tag on natural resources” and a bunch of proposals for the creation of new (useless) documents.
Some nice ideas:
– Ban the use of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure for social progress.
– Promote a holistic approach to sustainable development, taking into account environmental, economic, political and social aspects.
– Promote grassroots innovations to fight poverty and achieve sustainable development.
– Promote global education to eradicate poverty and to achieve sustainable development.
You have a couple of hours left to influence the direction Rio+20 will take. Vote for the ideas which bring us the future we want. So that in the end Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP is right when saying: “Rio+20 is a moment to turn sustainable development from aspiration and patchy implementation into a genuine path to progress and prosperity for this and the next generations to come.”
Some more issues which should be discussed in Rio: