Posts by: Matthew Maiorana

There’s a big moment just a few months away. Governments from around the world will gather in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this coming June for a summit 20 years after they first gathered there to address the link between environment and development. The summit comes at a time when sustainable development is more important than ever. With the number of challenges confronting us, the world needs significant new energy and ideas to chart a path forward.

Rio+20 delegates met this week at the ‘Informal Informal Consultations on the Zero Draft of the Compilation Document’. The title of the session is a bit long, but the purpose was straightforward — to finally begin negotiations on substance. The process is based on the Zero Draft document released earlier this month, which will eventually turn into the Rio outcome document. The current draft has has received mixed responses, with a general sense that the necessary ambition simply isn’t there.

Luckily, youth are helping move things forward. On Wednesday the Major Group on Children and Youth (MGCY) gave a fantastic intervention during the initial discussions. I joined a group of 40 youth from around the world (across many timezones) to help draft the statement. We made it clear that what we have isn’t enough and called on governments to tackle these shortcomings before we run out of time.

Delegates spent the remainder of the three day session working on revising the first two sections of the Zero Draft, but progress was slow. With changes coming in the form of brackets, alternatives, and additions, the document dramatically increased in length from 3 pages to more than 30 in less than a day. Delegates originally hoped to bring the length back down, but time ran short and more negotiations are needed.

Progress at the session was steady, but not nearly ambitious enough. If delegates want to craft a Rio outcome that inspires the world, they still have a long way to go.

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There’s a big moment just a few months away. Governments from around the world will gather in Rio de Janeiro,…

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