The UN’s Rio de Janeiro summit on sustainable development (“Rio+20”) should set "accountable targets", including global goals on renewable energy and energy efficiency, according to a resolution approved by Parliament on Thursday.
Parliament’s set of recommendations for next year’s event - due to take place 20 years after the first Earth Summit in 1992 – was approved with 449 votes in favour, 103 against and 45 abstentions.
“We call on industrialised and developing countries to work together to reduce the global environmental footprint. Only firm action now will allow the world’s growing population to share its limited natural resources fairly and sustainably in the future,” said Jo Leinen (S&D, DE), Chair of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.
Warning of the pressures of climate change, MEPs say that biodiversity and natural resources – such as water, soil and forests - must be properly valued and accounted for. Parliament supports the European Commission’s call for a "Green Economy Roadmap" and stresses that sustainable growth needs new measures and “accountable targets”, including global goals to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency. A narrow majority of MEPs meanwhile expressed their opposition to the exploitation of shale gas and tar sands.
The resolution calls for an end to environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020. MEPs also want to see an international tax on financial transactions - as proposed at EU level by the European Commission yesterday – to support climate and biodiversity protection in developing countries.
The EU will submit a unified position to the UN by the beginning of November, after which international negotiations will lead into the Rio de Janeiro summit in June 2012.