I was planning an extensive final comment on the substantive Rio issues (as opposed to the education ones), but I read Paul Vallely in the Observer this morning who said everything I wanted to (and more) in what I felt was a nicely balanced way.
I thought this point particularly significant:
The problem is this: the agreements at the 1992 summit were based on a compact in which poor countries said they would green their economies if the rich countries paid for it. Poor nations would create jobs without creating more of the belching coal-fired smokestacks with which the rich nations had got the planet to such a precarious position in the first place. But the simple polarity of rich and poor nations no longer applies. Some developing countries have become emerging economies. Countries such as China now want to clean up their environments and change their development models on their own terms. And while really poor nations still need foreign aid to adopt green technologies, rich countries aren't feeling rich enough now to stump up the required $30bn a year to fund the transition to sustainability.
Indeed. Like Vallely, I am enthused by the idea of sustainable development goals [SDGs] and hope they can be focused on things that really matter and not on peripherals. Quite a challenge to make them meaningful and capable of being put into operation, of course, but what more urgent challenge is there? Did someone mention indicators ...?
The post ends:
"We may now need a ... bottom-up mass movement of individuals to get real progress on saving the planet."
I think I've read that somewhere before ... . Enough. I can see blue skies approaching from out of the west ...