The Earth Summit 2012 (also known as Rio + 20 or the UN Conference on Sustainable Development) will take place in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The EU is developing its position for the conference. This process started with a public consultation which gave citizens, civil society organisations, and many other organsations the opportunity to input into the process. QCEA took the view that this was an important issue to speak up about.
I am old enough to not only remember the first Rio summit in 1992 but also the early days of the environmental movement; Earth Day in 1970 was a key milestone in my own appreciation of the importance of the environment, the significance of respecting it and the need not to exploit it beyond what it can sustain. Many years on, I have gained far more understanding of the complexity of the issues and the key responsibility of western economies (27 of which are members of the EU) to contribute to solutions.
The consultation process was a bit daunting because some of the questions were quite technical and in the QCEA office we felt initially that we maybe didn’t have the knowledge or expertise to respond. On second thought, though, we came to the conclusion that there was scope for making a number of important points of principle to ensure that the debate in the EU is also informed by the knowledge that there are European citizens and civil society organisations (including communities of faith) who are prepared to take a position that goes a bit against the grain.
You can read our response which will also be posted on the EU’s website once the consultation has closed. As always, your feedback on this would be most welcome.