Latin America defends sustainability and rejects “green economy”
On the other hand, the document of conclusions approved by the Regional Preparatory Meeting for Rio2012, reiterates that “the objective to be achieved is sustainable development, which should ensure the balance between these three interconnected pillars: social, economic and environmental, while maintaining the fundamental principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and equity”. A global institutional framework is necessary to achieve sustainable development “which is efficient and flexible and ensures the effective integration” of those pillars, it adds.
The delegates stated that a change in patterns of production and consumption must be achieved, in addition to better ways of measuring countries’ wealth that adequately reflect the social, economic and environmental dimensions, “while maintaining the fundamental principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and equity”.
Following three days of deliberations, the representatives examined the gaps still remaining since the 1992 Earth Summit for the achievement of sustainable development, which are even more pressing in the case of the small island States of the Caribbean.
Representatives of civil society organizations had called before and during the meeting to focus the debate on the principle of sustainable development and on the implementation of the commitments outlined 20 years ago in Rio de Janeiro, and not on the “green economy”, a concept that, as they warned, “has not reached a real consensus”. They also remarked on the importance of effective accountability, the observance of the agreements, participation, the precautionary principle and the improvement of institutions in charge of sustainable development.
Some governmental representatives (such as those from Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela) opposed to the concept of green economy for various reasons, among them its recognition as an excessively economist approach and because of the rich countries’ technological advantages for the implementation of its policies, the absence of consensus and the perceived threat of privatization of social goods.
But other official delegations (among them the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Mexico) perceived the green economy as a flexible means to reach a kind of sustainable development that is adaptable to national circumstances. However, the conclusions don’t include any reference to the concept.
In the conclusions of the meeting, the delegates stated that “some of the barriers to the achievement of sustainable development are the scientific and technological gap, the lack of sufficient financing and the fragmentation in implementation,” said Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of ECLAC.
The document also indicates the need to achieve “the eradication of extreme poverty; new, additional, stable and predictable financing for supporting implementation activities in developing countries; the fulfilment of mitigation and adaptation commitments in relation to climate change and the building of resilience to its impacts; and greater South-South cooperation and exchange of successful experiences”.
They included the need for “full implementation of the right to access environmental information, participation and justice enshrined in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development”.
Furthermore, the representatives of the States of Latin America and the Caribbean expressed their firm determination to continue to work towards sustainable development, with the primordial purpose of eradicating poverty and achieving equality in societies, bearing in mind the particular characteristics of each of the States in the region.
They reaffirmed the commitment of the countries in the region to continue to contribute constructively to a successful outcome of Rio2012 and they thanked ECLAC for its constant efforts and the support it extends to Latin American and Caribbean countries.