Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rio+20 must tackle leaders' economic concerns, says climate expert via AlertNet: The upcoming U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro could be more positive for the environment than recent international climate summits as long as it attracts enough world leaders and tackles economic concerns as well as environmental challenges, according to a top climate expert.
Saleemul Huq of the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) told AlertNet that Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff must convince other heads of government that a global agreement can be reached at the Rio+20 summit, and they should be part of the talks.
"The challenges are very political. (Rousseff) now has to reassure (world leaders), 'Don't worry, we'll get everything in place, there won't be arguments, I've talked to everybody about this'," Huq said on the sidelines of the sixth International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change in Hanoi last week. "If they're confident she can pull this off, then they'll (attend)."
As of last Friday, more than 130 heads of state, vice presidents, heads of government and deputy prime ministers were on the speakers list for the Rio+20 conference, from June 20-22. But some have grown weary of environmental meetings after the disappointing 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen where leaders failed to agree on a new, binding treaty on climate change, Huq said. "That's really something they're afraid of and want to avoid at all costs (in Rio)," he said....

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