World leaders are gathering in Brazil this month for Rio+20, the United Nations' Earth Summit.
The event marks 20 years since leaders descended on Rio de Janeiro for the first Earth Summit.
Consumers International (CI), of which Consumer NZ is a member, is calling for the conference to pledge support for sustainable consumption and to endorse a 10-year framework of programmes on the issue. We've written to Prime Minister John Key urging our government to back these measures. Minister for the Environment Amy Adams says the government "is committed to making Rio+20 a success". However, it has not made a specific undertaking to support the measures identified by CI.
CI's own recommendations to the conference emphasise the urgent need for changes in unsustainable consumption and production patterns. "What and how we consume must be a cornerstone of the transition to a green economy that [reduces] our individual and collective impact on the environment," it says.
The organisation says consumers who want to promote sustainable consumption are often hamstrung by sparse or misleading product information and a lack of clear and effective regulation. Many consumers also feel the actions available to them are insignificant in the context of government and business inaction.
CI's Bjarne Pedersen describes Rio+20 as a watershed event. "It's clear that social and environmental trends have worsened … A green economy can no longer be seen as a luxury. Hard choices need to be taken now to make this a reality if [the Earth Summit] is going to mean anything at all."
CI is part of the Green Economy Coalition, a global network of organisations campaigning for world leaders to endorse a shift to a new economic model. To find out more about the coalition, see www.greeneconomycoalition.org.
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