People for Solidarity, Ecology and Lifestyle (SOL)
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: People for Solidarity, Ecology and Lifestyle (SOL)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Growth (4 hits),

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Contribution to Outcome Document of the Rio+20 Conference agreed on by the signing Austrian NGOs

Despite some progress made since the UN Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, human- induced loss of biodiversity, global climate change, desertification, deforestation, acidification of the oceans, overuse of resources, unequal access to resources and many other problems continue. The recent economic crisis and the upcoming shortage of natural resources increase the threat of poverty and human rights abuse especially to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the world?s population - mainly in the global south.

The current economic model promotes unsustainable consumption and production patterns, facilitates an inequitable trading system, has failed to eradicate poverty, assists exploitation of natural resources towards the verge of extinction, and has induced multiple crises on Earth. The urgency to change the roots of our economic model has to be stressed. As civil society we promote fair and equitable sustainable development for all with respect for the limits of our common ecological and social capital.

Emerging countries are in the process of copying the unsustainable development model of industrialised countries and industrialised countries try to secure their already declining economic and political positions. Thereby unsustainable practices are perpetuated while developing countries are relegated to being suppliers of raw materials and confronted with endemic poverty and the effects of climate change.

The current Growth-led development paradigm has proven to be unsustainable. It does not need reform but replacement. A true ?green? economy within a sustainable society requires policies that include efficiency and sufficiency and equity. So far there is little sign that the technology and efficiency approach still including the Growth-paradigm alone can lead to more equal access to resources and to the reductions in the use and waste of both renewable and non-renewable resources on the scale that is needed to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, detoxifying our environment and enable us to live within global limits.

Despite agreements at Rio 1992 and Johannesburg 2002 there has been a clear failure to integrate environmental, social and development priorities into economic policies. Social engagement and other elements of ?well-being? that are at the core of sustainable human development are still not taken into account when making economic policy. We have to shift from economic Growth and increasing consumption to enhancing well-being and equal opportunities for all, within the limits set by nature.

We urge the governments to:

 Establish national roadmaps for a radical transformation towards a zero carbon economy by 2050 that is fully respectful of planetary limitations and the human rights for current and future generations, based on the fair share of natural resources and CO2 emissions. The necessary changes must be proportionate to a country?s contribution to the current problems and its capability to take action.

 Establish on a global scale a set of Millennium Consumption Goals (MCGs) for the period 2012-2031 towards establishing an intergenerational right to equitable consumption opportunities. Over-consumption needs to be capped and gradually lowered in order to give the necessary environmental space for under-consumers to meet their basic needs.

 Rethink the financing of social security systems currently based on continuous economic Growth, which perpetuate the crisis, and with this rethinking start to move towards an economic model that is grounded in sustainable development principles.
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