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Procedure : 2011/2733(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0522/2011

Texts tabled :

B7-0522/2011

Debates :

PV 28/09/2011 - 9
CRE 28/09/2011 - 9

Votes :

PV 29/09/2011 - 10.3
CRE 29/09/2011 - 10.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2011)0430

Texts adopted
PDF 163kDOC 82k
Thursday, 29 September 2011 - Strasbourg Final edition
Rio+20 earth summit
P7_TA(2011)0430B7-0522/2011

European Parliament resolution of 29 September 2011 on developing a common EU position ahead of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, which will focus on two themes: ‘a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication’ and ‘the institutional framework for sustainable development’,

–  having regard to the questions to the Commission and to the Council on the EU's objectives for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (O-000181/2011 - B7-0436/2011, O-000182/2011 - B7-0437/2011),

–  having regard to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions entitled ‘Rio+20: towards the green economy and better governance’ (COM(2011)0363),

–  having regard to the outcomes of the Conference on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan 2010,

–  having regard to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol,

–  having regard to the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 8 September 2000, which set out the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as objectives established jointly by the international community for the elimination of poverty,

–   having regard to The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) global initiative endorsed by G8+5 leaders in June 2007 and its published results in 2009 and 2010,

–   having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,

–  having regard to the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report adopted in 2008,

–   having regard to the report ‘Agro-ecology and the right to food’ by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food presented before the UN Human Rights Council on 8 March 2011,

–  having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas although progress towards sustainable development has been made since the Rio Summit in 1992 and the Johannesburg Summit in 2002, considerable implementation gaps and challenges still remain, while many commitments by the international community have not yet been fully met;

B.  whereas the three objectives of the Rio+20 Summit will be to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, to assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and to address new and emerging challenges;

C.  whereas synergies between the three Rio Conventions on Biodiversity (CBD), Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Desertification (UNCCD) should be enhanced;

D.  whereas as many as 1,4 billion people still live in extreme poverty, half of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa; whereas one sixth of the world's population is undernourished while food insecurity is on the rise and unemployment or underemployment remain the reality for a large proportion of the population in the developing countries; whereas 70 % of the people living on under one dollar a day are women;

E.  whereas climate change poses a serious threat to poverty reduction, human rights, peace and security and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in many developing countries;

F.  whereas the world population is expected to rise to at least 9 billion in 2050, putting even greater demands on the limited supply of natural resources and on the capacity to manage the resulting waste streams;

G.  whereas the ever growing need for water, land and forest, has led to the increasing depletion and degradation of these resources; whereas biodiversity loss, overfishing, ecosystem degradation and deforestation continue at an alarming rate;

H.  whereas the levels of global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise;

I.  whereas the world's oceans play a central role in global climate processes notably in terms of carbon sequestration, are a major source of energy, are home to a wealth of biodiversity, are an important means of transportation, provide sustainable livelihoods as well as the essential elements for life, including food, medicines, and freshwater; whereas climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, and the rampant destruction of marine ecosystems, habitats and species, among other impacts, are threatening the oceans' ability to continue to provide these services;

J.  whereas 80 % of global fisheries are either fully exploited or over exploited and approximately 20 % of the world population are directly dependent on fisheries for their primary source of protein.

K.  whereas environmental disasters are leading to a growing number of displaced persons; whereas it is necessary to establish an international status for climate and environmental refugees;

L.  whereas women and children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially in developing and least developed countries; whereas a great number of women are still marginalised and suffer from discrimination;

M.  whereas the challenges lying ahead are not stand-alone issues but are mutually related and interdependent; whereas Rio+20 is the only multilateral forum addressing all three pillars of sustainable development and therefore assuring a holistic approach;

N.  whereas the UNEP's concept of a triple helix approach could provide a good basis for discussion;

O.  whereas affordable solutions to the multiple sustainability challenges are available; whereas, for example, the return on investments in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services is up 200-fold;

P.  whereas limits to GDP as an indication for human well-being and development are widely recognised;

Q.  whereas there is a need to promote sustainable consumption and production;

R.  whereas there is a need to promote a socially inclusive, healthy, safe and just society with respect for fundamental rights and cultural diversity that creates equal opportunities and combats discrimination in all its forms;

S.  whereas good environmental governance goes beyond institutional arrangements comprising transparency, accountability and civil society involvement; whereas the Rio Declaration Principle 10 confirms environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens and highlights the need to provide access to information concerning the environment, the right to participate in decision-making processes and effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings;

T.  whereas over the past twenty years, radical changes in the geo-political world, with some developing countries now being major economic and political players, have led to a new balance of power and influence, entailing new roles and new responsibilities;

U.  whereas contributions should be submitted to the UN before 1 November 2011, as input to negotiations starting early in 2012;

1.  Welcomes the decision of the UN General Assembly in Resolution 64/236 to convene a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development at the highest possible level in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, which represents a unique opportunity for world leaders to set the sustainability agenda for the next 10 years while reaffirming the need for global solidarity; calls for countries to be represented at the level of Heads of States and/or Governments;

2.  Welcomes the Communication from the Commission entitled ‘Rio+20: towards the green economy and better governance’; considers, however, that an emphasis on the green economy and private sector should not divert attention from the need to empower citizens and promote good environmental governance beyond institutional arrangements; highlights that the EU can share important experiences in this regard in implementing Rio Principle 10;

3.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that a strong and unified EU position is submitted to the UN before 1 November 2011, as input to negotiations starting early in 2012;

4.  Underlines that sustainable development must be at the forefront in all EU processes and policies if the EU is to be consistent domestically and with its international aspirations;

5.  Underlines that the Rio+20 Summit represents a crucial opportunity to reinforce the political commitment for sustainable development at global level and the partnerships between industrialised and developing countries;

6.  Emphasises that there is a crucial need to inject greater urgency and dynamism into the implementation and the international governance of sustainable development policies which are making slow progress;

7.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that the Rio+20 Summit does not only result in statements of good will, but in tangible actions and accountable targets and ways of measuring them, which are needed to trigger the synergy among the elements of sustainable development;

8.  Concerning the focus given to the ‘green economy’ as one of the two main themes of the Summit, insists that a ‘green economy’ be understood as the entire economy functioning within the limits of sustainability in respect to biodiversity, maintaining ecosystem services, climate protection and use of natural resources; stresses that more focus should be given to human, environmental and natural capital and that sustainable development is more than just green economy;

9.  Stresses that the Rio+20 Summit should focus on strengthening the links between the environment, economic and social agendas, shifting the view from seeing them as three independent pillars to a more coherent and interdependent approach;

10.  Is of the opinion that the response to tackle the challenges ahead is not slowing growth but rather promoting sustainable growth and a green economy, which offer opportunities to all countries, irrespective of their level of development and the structure of their economies;

11.  Highlights the need for addressing new and emerging challenges, such as the scarcity of resources and its role in conflicts;

12.  Underlines that equity is the foundation stone of the paradigm shift which needs to be achieved and that this should be assured on a global scale, thus enabling less and least developed countries, with the help of developed countries, to tunnel under the normal development curve and to emerge at a higher status in terms of human well-being, but also in the form of intra-country equity and intergenerational equity;

13.  Underlines that the Rio+20 summit should set specific and concrete goals and ways of measuring and monitoring them, and calls for a Green Economy Roadmap to be adopted in this respect;

14.  Stresses that in order to enable the transition towards a green economy in the context of poverty eradication, it is necessary to link environmental protection and human rights and to address the following three interlinked policy dimensions:

   investing in the sustainable management of key resources and natural capital on the basis of a coordinated effort in R&D,
   establishing the right market and regulatory conditions inspired by the principle of equity,
   improving governance and the involvement of civil society and the private sector;

15.  Emphasises the need to include the principle of a common but differentiated approach, the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle and extended producer responsibility to promote a fair share of responsibilities towards global sustainable development; emphasises that green growth policies should aim at win-win solutions by fostering entrepreneurship, competitiveness and innovation across all sectors and focusing on areas where improvements are most economically efficient and environmentally effective;

16.  Underlines that a green economy must be focused on decoupling economic activity from resource use and environmental degradation;

17.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to ensure that the Rio+20 Summit tries to find a solution to the persistent and widening equity gaps at global and national level due to the present economic model;

18.  Reiterates its conviction that the safest, most practical and most readily available solutions for the combined problems of climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification consist in protecting and expanding natural ecosystems;

19.  Emphasises that the Rio+20 Summit should discuss an integrated approach to address the multiple challenges such as poverty eradication, health, food, employment, gender equality, climate change and energy supply; highlights that those problems cannot be solved in isolation and that there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution which makes cooperation ever more important; highlights, in this respect, the indispensable role of healthy and natural ecosystems in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;

20.  Calls on the Rio+20 Summit to insist on rapid progress in ensuring the effectiveness of the existing international legal framework for the protection of the environment by encouraging States to join existing international instruments and signatory countries to proceed with their speedy ratification;

Actions in resources and natural capital

21.  Stresses that the transition towards a green economy requires urgent action as regards ecosystems protection, efficient and sustainable resources and natural capital, while promoting sustainable consumption and production; highlights the need to pursue current initiatives on capacity building;

22.  Reiterates that the concept of a ‘green economy’ advocated by the Commission will not automatically bring prosperity for the poor and achieve the MDGs unless economies are properly managed, natural capital effectively and equitably governed and access to distribution equally guaranteed for present and future generations;

23.  Stresses the need to achieve and implement plans for sustainable production and consumption and keep the impacts of the use of natural resources well within safe ecological limits;

24.  Emphasises that the fair and equitable access to, and distribution of, resources for present and future generations is a crucial precondition for development and poverty eradication, and that developing countries, as well as regional and local authorities, should be enabled to profit from their natural resources in the most sustainable and inclusive way; stresses that it is paramount that all countries participate in this in order to create sustainable societies; highlights that the poorest countries and the poorest segments of the world's population will be most affected by the impacts of climate change and thus need support for adaptation, especially to take into account the needs and knowledge of women and the most vulnerable populations;

25.  Underlines the importance of assessing resources, natural capital and ecosystem services at their real value, while not commodifying natural systems; calls for the establishment of natural capital accounting processes and their integration into economic accounting structures and political decision-making processes;

26.  Considers it part of the industrialised countries' responsibility to support developing countries in their pursuit towards development and to enable them not to commit the same mistakes as regards natural resources and a non-sustainable way of development;

27.  Stresses that the extraction and use of resources have a big impact on the environment and local communities; urges the Commission to integrate the concept of internalisation of external costs on the environment and communities into the discussions and negotiations at Rio+20;

28.  Stresses the urgent need to address scarce resources, such as raw materials, their sustainable use and recycling opportunities, but also to improve research in, access to and dissemination of technologies for efficient resource use;

Water

29.  Emphasises that the Rio+20 Summit needs to renew its commitment towards promoting the protection of water resources and the sustainable management of water as a public good; considers that establishing international partnerships in this regard could help to achieve this goal, especially through climate change adaptation programmes aimed at capturing water where it falls;

30.  Stresses that the United Nations General Assembly resolution of 28 July 2010 recognises access to drinking water as a human right and calls for special protection for water as an element particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which could lead to a decline in the quantity and quality of water available, particularly drinking water;

31.  Calls on the Rio + 20 summit to ensure that the human right to water and sanitation is globally achieved;

32.  Underlines the importance of integrated river basin management, and calls for a strengthening of policies to improve water access, retention times, quality and efficiency, as well as of cross-border cooperation in transboundary river basins;

Marine environment and oceans

33.  Emphasises the need to improve the governance, and strengthen the protection, of the marine environment, marine biodiversity and oceans; considers that seas and oceans should become one of the key pillars of the Rio Framework, alongside climate and biodiversity protection;

34.  Invites the Rio+20 Summit to launch specific negotiations in order to adopt international legal instruments for:

   the control of land-based pollution of seas and oceans,
   sustainable management and assessment of human activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction, and
   the conservation of marine biodiversity and introduction and recognition of marine protected areas in international waters.
Such instruments should establish the legal framework for multi-purpose marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the utilization of genetic and other resources. They should also establish surveillance and enforcement mechanisms;

35.  Calls for the speedy establishment of a global marine ecosystem monitoring system to track changes in marine ecosystems and fisheries resources;

36.  Considers that a strong commitment should be made to the sustainable management of fisheries, notably by: sustainable catch programmes, securing renewed political commitment to implement international agreements on the conservation and sustainable management of living marine resources; agreeing on a process of reviewing implementation to ensure that fisheries are authorised to proceed only if they are being managed in accordance with international obligations; and strengthening Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and introducing good practices in terms of institutions, transparency and accountability, and surveillance and enforcement mechanisms;

37.  Insists on the need to apply the precautionary principle and an ecosystem approach to any activity impacting the living environment;

Energy

38.  Points to the increasing scarcity of conventional fossil energy sources, such as oil, natural gas or coal; reiterates their contribution to the greenhouse gas effect, while non-conventional sources should be subject to environmental and productivity impact assessment;

39.  Warns against any offshore oil exploration and extraction operations in environmentally fragile areas like the Arctic zone to facilitate the transition to carbon-free energy production internationally and opposes oil extraction from tar sands and oil shale;

40.  Underlines that the transition towards a green economy requires a radical transformation of the energy sector in order to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency and also universal access to energy also for the poor and to foster electrification, especially in least developed countries; emphasises the need for renewable energy technology and (cross-sectoral) technology and know-how transfer, particularly to support small-scale and local renewable energy use, in order not to hinder their right to development;

41.  Calls for global targets and measures to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency worldwide;

42.  Believes that renewable energy and energy efficiency have the potential to mitigate climate change, contribute to social and economic development, improve security of supply and provide environmental and health benefits;

43.  Calls on the Rio + 20 summit to ensure that the sustainability of biofuel and bioenergy products is guaranteed, and underlines in this regard that human rights and environmental protection must be fully respected;

44.  Considers that the short timeframes used in the current GHG LULUCF accounting methodology compromise achievements in GHG savings; calls for the revision of this methodology so as to safeguard the adaptive capacity of natural ecosystems;

45.  Considers that the external costs of energy supply should be reflected in the price of energy;

46.  Recalls, having regard to the Fukushima catastrophe, the absolute necessity of ensuring the highest level of nuclear safety within the EU and of promoting these requirements at international level;

Agriculture and food security

47.  Stresses that access to adequate and healthy food is a basic human right and thus calls for strong, coordinated action against the man-made root causes of hunger and for guaranteed food sovereignty for developing countries;

48.  Emphasises that there is an urgent need to promote small-scale, sustainable, organic agriculture in the context of poverty eradication, recognizing that appropriate low impact, multifunctional farming systems employing traditional seed stands already exist and should be promoted;

49.  Believes that the livestock sector is a key part of the green economy, that implementing humane and sustainable livestock farming practices is vital and that improving and safeguarding livelihoods plays an important role in reducing the impact of climate change, especially in developing countries and rural areas;

50.  Shares the Commission's view that existing initiatives promoting sustainable agriculture that build on multilateral actions (such as the FAO), regional, national and local activities (such as organic and high-natural-value farming, energy-efficient greenhouses, sustainable animal housing, precision agriculture, CO2 neutral agricultural entrepreneurship, biomass and manure fermentation) as well as business activities should be strengthened, and that, in addition, new initiatives and partnerships should be launched under the governance arrangements of the Committee for World Food Security to make the consumption and production of food more sustainable, promote community resilience and decrease hunger;

51.  Asks for global measures to create greater transparency in the commodity market and to stop financial speculation that contributes to high food price volatility and subsequent global food crises, by adopting the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; notes with concern the global trends in large-scale land acquisition by foreign entities in developing countries; stresses the need to arrest this trend in order to ensure food security and protect the rights of smallholders and indigenous communities;

52.  Regrets the slow progress of negotiations and commitments in the context of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD); considers that soil is a scarce resource and that land degradation and land use change require a global response; calls for concrete action, efficient measures and monitoring, especially as regards the production of biofuels;

53.  Underlines the vital importance of using the full potential and securing the property rights of small and indigenous producers and family farms, which are responsible for the majority of the world's food supply and need specific support for production and access to the market;

54.  Underlines the need for applied research and innovation in the area of agriculture in order to stimulate sustainable solutions, such as precision agriculture, which decreases the need for irrigation and plant protection products;

55.  Concurs with the recommendations of the FAO, IFAD, IMF, OECD, UNCTAD,WFP, the World Bank, the WTO, IFPRI and the UN HLTF to the G20 for states to remove provisions in current national policies that subsidise or mandate biofuels production or consumption, at least until guarantees for removing the competition with food production, biodiversity and climate protection are in place;

Forests

56.  Highlights that deforestation and forest degradation result in environmental and social damage which is hard to reverse, such as long-term disruption of water conditions, steppe-formation and desertification, climate change and biodiversity loss, rural poverty, and conflict over land, resource access, rights and benefits, the overall economic costs of which far exceed expenditure on protection and improvement measures; considers that the Rio+20 Summit should have as a goal to ensure participative forest governance, fair and equitable benefit-sharing and the conservation and sustainable use of forests globally;

57.  Highlights the need to promote sustainable forest management and combat deforestation, inter alia through closing markets to illegally or unsustainably harvested timber; underlines the need to establish partnerships with governments, local communities and indigenous groups, civil society and the private sector in order to achieve this goal;

58.  Emphasises in this context the need to meet the Nagoya commitment to at least halve, and where feasible bring close to zero, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, by 2020;

59.  Believes that the design of REDD+ instrument under UNFCCC should ensure respect of, and contribute to, overall forest protection objectives and targets, and that, for example, specific infrastructures should be developed for satellite and in situ observation to assess that carbon is collected in a preserved forest, as well as respect of human rights and the relevant provisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity; calls therefore for greater transparency in the allocation of the relevant funds and more robust monitoring; stresses that the design of REDD+ mechanism should ensure significant benefits for biodiversity and vital ecosystem services beyond climate change mitigation and should contribute to strengthening the rights and improving the livelihood of forest-dependent people, particularly of indigenous and local communities;

60.  Expresses its concern concerning the new Forest Code to be adopted by the Brazilian Senate, which will exacerbate deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, thus hindering international climate change mitigation efforts;

61.  Urges the host nation Brazil to make a clear commitment to protect the Amazon forest and stem criminal harassment of representatives of civil society pursuing environmental protection;

62.  Calls on the Commission to make available in time for the Rio+20 Summit a study assessing the impact of EU consumption of food and non-food products on deforestation; calls for the study to also assess the impacts of existing EU policies and legislation on deforestation and outline new policy initiatives to address the identified impacts;

Chemicals and hazardous substances

63.  Supports the Commission's view that the time is ripe to establish a more robust and coherent international regime for governing the use of chemicals and hazardous substances, and that the Rio+20 Summit should set about achieving this aim, calling for the EU legislation on REACH as a model to be adopted by as many countries as possible;

Waste management

64.  Highlights the fact that good waste management not only minimises environmental impacts but also provides a source of reusable and recycled materials, and employment;

65.  Emphasis that many resources that are currently land-filled, incinerated or have a negative impact on the environment and local communities can be re-used and recycled; stresses that serious effort should be put into the recycling of these resources to give added value to local societies through jobs and innovation, and that recycling and re-use prevent the destruction of natural habitats and local societies;

Developing conditions to stimulate markets and investing in human capital

66.  Stresses the need to integrate biodiversity, ecosystem services and natural resources into national accounts and all development / poverty eradication plans and strategies;

Environmentally harmful subsidies

67.  tresses the urgent need to tackle environmentally harmful subsidies and to develop and implement positive incentives for benefiting from, and conservation of, biodiversity;

68.  Welcomes in that regard the greater attention paid to the greening of the CAP in the CAP reform proposals;

69.  Calls on the Rio+20 Summit to launch a series of coordinated actions by countries aimed at identifying and phasing out all environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020, in line with Nagoya commitments;

Regulatory and market-based instruments

70.  Stresses that the use of regulatory instruments, on both a national and international level, along with market-based instruments, will play a crucial role in the general sustainability of our society; highlights in this context the urgency of addressing the climate impact of international shipping and aviation and highlights the example of the EU and its 20-20-20 objectives, as well as its progressive environmental policies and standards in general;

71.  Underlines that a clear, reliable and comprehensive regulatory framework is needed to enable actors to shift the economic rationale towards an efficient, responsible and green economy;

72.  Calls for a tax on financial transactions to be established at international level;

73.  Underlines that fiscal reforms designed to shift the tax burden from labour to resource use and pollution can help create a win-win outcome for both employment and the environment, as the shift makes resource efficiency, recycling and re-use more attractive and thereby provides more opportunities for jobs;

74.  Calls on the EU Commission to promote the inclusion of environmental aspects in international trade negotiations;

Financing

75.  Emphasises that the transition towards a global green economy will require large-scale financial investment; underlines that public money alone will not be enough, and that public funding will have to catalyse and leverage much greater private investment; emphasises the need to promote innovation and new technologies by also improving access to finance;

76.  Invites the Rio+20 Summit to recommend reform of existing financing strategies and to establish new public-private financing schemes and partnerships as needed;

77.  Believes that developing countries need a stable long-term framework of financial support, capacity building and technology transfer to promote sustainable development and allow them to skip the energy and carbon-intensive development path followed by the industrialised countries;

78.  Calls on the Rio + 20 summit to strengthen measures and increase the resources available for global environmental risk mitigation and disaster risk reduction mechanisms;

79.  Underlines that Official Development Aid (ODA) should be better monitored, including the use of alternative measures for commitments to development, such as the OECD country programmable aid or the Commitment to Development Index, so as to ensure compliance with multilateral environmental agreements and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as to wider green economy objectives;

80.  Considers it crucial that the poorest countries have access to innovative forms of financing to close the equity gap which these countries experience;

81.  Calls for monitoring of the effects of the financing on gender balance in order to ensure gender-sensitive financing;

Empowering citizens

82.  Considers it of the utmost importance to continue to empower citizens in environmental governance and calls for progress in Rio+20 on ensuring the effective global implementation of Rio Principle 10; considers that the EU has important experience to offer in international discussions with over 10 years of implementation of the Aarhus Convention;

83.  Calls for the provisions of Aarhus Convention to be expanded beyond UN ECE through a global Convention or by opening the Aarhus Convention to parties outside UN ECE;

84.  Recommends a comprehensive approach to the respect of human rights principles, whilst implementing policies towards sustainable development; stresses the need to provide an adequate level of protection for peoples most affected by climate change;

85.  Emphasises that any regulatory instrument can only be successful if it is combined with information and education; is furthermore of the opinion that changes of values and behaviour in bottom-up approaches are of the utmost importance, and specifically calls for initiatives mobilising young people, as it is the next generation who will be affected by the consequences of our actions;

Training

86.  Stresses the need to support education and training programmes, in particular for young people, in all countries; believes that the promotion of new skills will help to create new jobs in the global labour market, generating positive multiplying effects at social level;

Technologies

87.  Highlights the importance of R&D and innovation, and the need for scientific and technological cooperation;

88.  Acknowledges that technological innovation, assessment and transfer is essential to meet environmental, economic and social challenges; underlines also, however, that technological development cannot be the only solution to environmental problems or for poverty eradication;

89.  Stresses that innovation is more than technical innovation – social innovation gives new and effective solutions to pressing social needs created by individuals or organisations with a social, and not necessarily a commercial, imperative; stresses further that social innovation provides an opportunity for citizens, in any role, to enhance their working and life environment, thus aiding the empowerment of civil society globally and providing the opportunity to have civil society participate in the protection and sustainable use of natural resources;

90.  Expresses its opposition to proposals for large scale geo-engineering;

91.  Recalls that the protection of knowledge, innovations and the practices of indigenous and local communities is an explicit part of the original Rio Summit Agreements, providing time-tested, safe and resilient ways of working with nature;

92.  Stresses that the introduction of new and emerging technologies must not compromise the goals of just and sustainable development and poverty eradication; emphasises that technologies can have different environmental, social and economic impacts, and without proper oversight some technologies can lead to unsustainable exploitation of natural resources (such as water, land, biomass), increases in poverty and other detrimental social effects;

93.  Supports therefore the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building on environment-related technology as well as the goals for the evaluation and transfer of environmentally sound technologies; asks for the creation of capacity within the UN system to monitor, evaluate and provide information about new technologies to integrate a broader concept of sustainability and promote sustainable development of products and processes in all areas;

Measuring progress

94.  Calls for urgent studies to develop a new set of metrics to measure progress towards equity and sustainable development;

95.  Underlines that the Rio+20 Summit should deliver an alternative model to measure growth and welfare ‘beyond GDP’, building on initiatives such as the international system for integrated environmental and economic accounting (SEEA), the Human Development Index, and the OECD's ‘Measuring the Progress of Societies’ project; underlines that it is necessary in order to measure progress in a broad sense, which encompasses economic, environmental and social dimensions; calls therefore for the adoption of clear and measurable indicators that take account of climate change, biodiversity, resource efficiency and social inclusion;

96.  Calls for a broad discussion on the inclusion of these indicators internationally in commonly used processes to evaluate public and private progress;

97.  Calls for the recognition of the principle of non-regression in the context of environmental protection as well as fundamental rights;

Improve governance and private sector involvement

98.  Stresses the urgent need to improve sustainable development governance;

99.  Takes the view that UNEP needs to be strengthened inside the UN system, for example by transforming UNEP into a UN Specialized Agency (such as the ILO), as this would be the best way forward to improve international environmental governance and make progress towards global sustainable development; refers in this context however to all options identified by the Helsinki-Nairobi outcome;

100.  Calls for the establishment, under the auspices of UNEP, of a dedicated panel of scientists to be modelled on the International Panel on Climate Change and tasked with reviewing and assessing cross-sectorally the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of biodiversity and sustainability;

101.  Reiterates its proposal for an international environmental court so that global environmental legislation becomes more binding and enforceable, or at least an international authority, such as an ombudsman with mediation powers;

102.  Calls on the Rio+20 Summit to launch a strategy for strengthening coherence between the different multilateral environmental agreements; stresses, in this regard, the need for a coordinated approach between the three Rio Conventions (Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification) as they are intrinsically linked, operate in the same ecosystems and address interdependent issues;

103.  Emphasises the need to involve global, national and local actors in the implementation processes;

104.  Stresses the need to step up the involvement of finance ministers, economy ministers, development ministers, environment ministers and others in sustainable development policies;

105.  Calls on the Rio+20 Summit to strengthen the engagement of the key stakeholders, including the private sector; underlines that business and civil society, and in particular NGOs, social movements and indigenous communities, need to play a prominent role;

106.  Underlines the importance of business and civil society working together within developing and developed countries in order to deliver tangible results;

107.  Stresses the importance of involving citizens; calls for awareness raising and the provision of more information on sustainable consumption, and for incentives to be introduced and promoted in order to change values and behaviour and facilitate responsible decisions by both citizens and industries;

108.  Stresses the need for action to trigger behavioural change towards a sustainable consumption model;

109.  Underlines that all major stakeholders should have full, open and fair access to all negotiations, intersessional and preparatory meetings for Rio+20;

110.  Believes that parliamentary representatives ought to play an active role in connection with the conference; ideally, the European Parliament ought to be formally associated with the conference and be given equivalent status to the Commission delegation or at least the same status as it has enjoyed at other conferences;

o
o   o

111.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of Member States and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Last updated: 7 January 2013Legal notice