In this week's edition of Newsweek
, Bjørn Lomborg has a message for the organizers of the United Nations "Rio+20" Earth Summit:
Poverty Pollutes — Can we have our Earth Summit Back, please?
The upcoming United Nations green summit in Rio de Janeiro is in trouble—and with good reason. The planners of the mammoth event have been unable to agree on just what to say in the outcome document, ironically called “The Future We Want.” This week, dignitaries are meeting in New York City for a final attempt to find common ground.
It won’t be easy. Over the past four decades, the U.N.’s concern for “green” issues has moved ever closer to the fashionable concerns of rich Westerners and away from the legitimate concerns of the overwhelming majority of the earth’s people.
It wasn’t always like this. Forty years ago, the first U.N. environmental conference in Stockholm helped to crystallize the global need for sound environmental policy. Over the next 20 years, however, the emphasis became much more driven by Western concerns. Whereas Stockholm had been a conference on the “Human Environment,” the theme of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit was “Environment and Development”—and development took the back seat.
Read the full 6-page commentary at Newsweek's website
Bjørn Lomborg directs the Copenhagen Consensus Center and is the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It.
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