The Earth Summit in Rio begins today. What’s that? You thought it started weeks ago? Very understandable.

You can watch the plenary sessions here, or streaming below.

Later today, 17 year-old Brittany Trilford will speak to the assembly. (You can read Greg Hanscom’s interview with her here.) We’ll update this post after she does.

Non-governmental organizations continue to announce new initiatives related to the convening. Development banks yesterday committed $7.2 billion to help poor countries prepare for climate change. This morning, a group of banks made a $175 billion commitment to create sustainable transport systems.

You can follow commitments that have been made at the aptly named CloudOfCommitments.org.

Also worth checking out: The Guardian’s set of graphs detailing shifts in world demographics since 1992.

More updates to come.

Less important planets displayed at the summit. (Photo by Fora do Eixo.)

Update: Via TckTckTck, Brittany Trilford’s speech is now available. Inspiring.

You have 72 hours to decide the fate of your children. My children. My children’s children. I start the clock now. …

Are you here to save face? Or are you here to save us?

Update: The Atlantic has a great gallery of photos from the event.

Update: Venezuela has banned shark fishing in an 854 square mile area of the Caribbean.

“Venezuela’s decision to prohibit shark finning means that it now joins the rest of the countries of South America, North America and Central America in banning this wasteful practice,” said Jill Hepp, manager of global shark conservation at the Pew Environment Group. “Combined with the breeding ground safe haven in Los Roques and Las Aves, this is the latest step in the growing global movement to save these magnificent animals.”