The global crisis threatens an agreement at Rio+20

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Earth Journalism Network, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Carnival City is ready to host Rio +20 Earth Summit, organized by the UN two decades after the now legendary 1992 meeting in the city of Rio.

But the specter of global crisis, with its epicenter in the "Euro Zone" flies over the streets. Is that when the wallet gets smaller, the least important is the environment.

The summit aims to advance on the idea of sustainable development, the concept as malleable as the actor that invoked. The new word now is "green economy".

Developing countries accused the big nation to disguise protectionism with environmentalist makeup.

They also claim that fulfill the promise of previous meetings to sit down and negotiate. The fact is that on Friday at the close of the previous negotiations, most of the document was bracketed, ie there was no agreement.

The president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, try to save the Rio +20 summit at the G20 meeting in Mexico.

"The economic crisis of the developed world will greatly affect the summit. It is a big problem because it leads to a very different way of thinking", says Tim Wirth, president of the UN Foundation, an NGO that participates in the main negotiations.

"How can we speak of sustainable economy, equity between rich and poor countries and other issues that will change the world economy, if there is no clear leadership or policy back to negotiate," he adds.

Energy for All. However, Wirth believes that progress has not come for global agreements, but by specific initiatives and bilateral arrangements between companies, states and institutions.

For example, that progress can be made on the idea of the UN secretary, Ban Ki-moon, to achieve "Sustainable Energy for All" (Sefa).

The program is focused on ensuring access to modern energy for all the world. A fifth of the world population does not have this service. Nearly 40 percent of the world's population depends on wood, charcoal or animal waste for cooking. Inhalation of toxic smoke causes 800 000 deaths of children annually.

In turn, aims to double the share in renewable energies in global energy cake and double the overall average improvement in energy efficiency.

"Changing to a model based on sustainable energy will not depend on the states, but of the companies. Governments can help by providing loans and risk capital to make things easier, but in the end most of the funds are to be private", he says.

In theory the numbers closed. With an investment of 170 billion dollars in tools to increase energy efficiency would be achieved save 900 billion annually. With only 50 billion dollar annual investment in 2030 would achieve universal access to modern energy.

Key point. The obstacles to negotiate a final document en Rio+20 are many. The main thing is that developing countries want included in the text that the rich nation will deliver 30 billion dollars a year to fund sustainable development.

Other topic is the structure United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which now doesn`t have its own budget nor is binding on countries. The idea is to give more hierarchy and included in the agency all relating to sustainable development.

Others. It also addresses the possible steps to establish sustainable development goals (ODS) and the scope of the concept of green economy.