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Tagged with Earth Summit

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Scientists to world leaders: You broke it, you own it

Happy Earth Day, 2012! Many of you have probably glanced at the Mayan Calendar and, upon seeing no 2013, assumed the end is nigh, and this is the last Earth Day. (Why else would John Cussack have agreed to this?) Of course others believe the Mayan calendar ending was a way for Mayans to ensure future calendar sales (I plan to buy one with a kitten) and so we will still need to make preparations for future Earth Days. Staunchly in the latter camp are the organizers of the Planet Under Pressure Conference, a convening of roughly 3,000 scientists from around the world whose State of the Planet Declaration [PDF] promises “new knowledge towards solutions.”

The conference met last month and was organized by The Global Environmental Change Programmes with the International Council for Science. Their goal was to provide some scientific underpinnings for the coming Earth Summit in Rio, to be attended by more than 100 world leaders, but maybe not our own. And while perusing their materials surely begs the question, “What can we learn from people who spell ‘Program’ with an extra ‘M’ and an ‘E’?” it turns out that the funny spelling means some of these people -- like Sir John Beddington, the U.K.’s chief scientific advisor, and Phil Bloomer, director of campaigns and policy for Oxfam -- are British, have corresponding accents, and are therefor very smart, so we should listen. (The conference, in fact, was in London.)

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Obama may blow off the Earth Summit

Photo by porchlife.

When the leaders of more than 100 countries meet this June to discuss the small matter of the Future of Life on Earth, President Obama might be there. Then again, maybe he’s got a golf match scheduled that day. He’s not saying.

Yes, it’s true, the guy who just picked up an early endorsement from Big Green groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, the man who announced in his last State of the Union Address that “America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs,” may be a no-show at the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

When asked about the president’s plans on Tuesday, U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change Todd Stern told The Washington Post, “I don’t have any understanding that the president has any intention of going.” A White House spokesperson was noncommittal: “I don’t have any scheduling announcements at this time.”

Ouch. What ever happened to “Love Your Mother”?

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Saving Ourselves from the Status Quo: Youth Stand Up for the Earth and their Future

This post was written by Michael Davidson. One block from my office in Washington, DC, young people frustrated by the lack of accountability and democracy in corporate America have gathered to demand and demonstrate change. I hear many voices of my generation as I walk through McPherson Square, but our concerns are unmistakable: unemployment, corruption, massive subsidies to established industries, corporate irresponsibility and—inherent in all these problems—environmental injustice on a global scale. Given the increasingly precarious world that we inhabit, there is much to do at next year’s Rio+20 Earth Summit on sustainable development. What is certain: The status quo …

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Renewable Energy Keeps Growing: Earth Summit in Rio provides an opportunity for even more action

Several new reports released over the past few days show that renewable energy keeps growing, with more countries implementing policies or incentives to spur renewable energy deployment.  The studies found that renewable energy accounted for $211 billion in new investments in 2010 – an increase of 32% from the previous year.  Next year at the Earth Summit in Rio, countries and companies have a chance to build upon this momentum by committing to deeper actions to spur renewable energy deployment within their country and company.  This is an important opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. So what are the key findings …

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Key actions on climate & energy at the Earth Summit in 2012

Carbon pollution from fossil fuel use reached the highest level yet in 2010, according to the International Energy Agency.  So should we throw up our hands?  No, this is a wake-up call that countries need to significantly speed up the pace of their action to reduce emissions.  And when they come to the Earth Summit in Rio next June – just one short year from now – they have a chance to do just that.  They better come prepared to implement new actions at home on climate and energy at the Earth Summit – held from June 4-6 in Rio …

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How to advance climate change & clean energy action at Rio+20 Earth Summit

The world’s leaders will be meeting June 4-6, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Rio+20 Earth Summit.  This Summit is an important opportunity to advance concrete action on global warming.  Countries, companies, state and local governments, and civil society groups should be expected to come to Rio prepared to strengthen the implementation of their existing commitments and undertake new actions to reduce emissions.  One of roads to Rio should lead through clean energy and deforestation actions that help to address global warming pollution.  I’m in NY for preparatory meetings for Rio+20 so here are some initial thoughts as I …

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