The Road to Rio

In June 2012, the third Earth Summit will take place in Rio de Janeiro, exactly 20 years after the first Earth Summit there; so it is being called the Rio+20 Conference. How things have changed in twenty years! Another billion people have joined us on Earth, global finances are in crisis, and climate change is underway.

On the positive side, nations, corporations, NGOs and religious bodies like the Catholic Church are now deeply committed to sustainable development (a word invented in 1983). In fact, this is one of the key themes at Rio+20 – in particular, how to develop a global system of governance to ensure that sustainable development happens, and that we become sustainable fast enough to offset the dangers threatening us all. The Green Economy is how we invest in the changes that produce sustainability and reduce poverty world-wide. Ambitious? Yes. Essential? Also yes.

ERI has made a submission to Rio+20, drawing on the spirituality that nourishes the Edmund Rice Network, and the practical steps we are taking to live sustainably. As a faith-based group, we call on the nations assembled there to keep their economic decisions within the context of ecological realities and basic human needs. We also suggest that sustainability is the single principle on which our future depends.

The generation that sits down in Rio will not be the generation that judges the success of Rio+20. Perhaps their first task in Rio will be the act of trust and generosity that makes room for the next generation.

Moy Hitchen cfc
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