Canada is delaying progress at Rio+20 conference

Attending: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French President François Hollande

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Over 100 heads of state and high-level government officials including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French President François Hollande, will attend the final negotiations of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Earth Summit 2012 or Rio+20, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20 to 22, 2012.

Canadian NGO delegates from We Canada are currently observing Canada's positions and participating in the conference. We Canada is a civil society initiative that consulted with 8000 Canadians for Rio+20. Representatives of We Canada presented a report of these consultations at the conference, with Severn Cullis-Suzuki as a keynote speaker, in order to give voice to Canadians at this historic event.

"We are here at the government negotiations to hold Canada's feet to the fire," said Aleksandra Nasteska, co-founder of We Canada. "Right now, Canada's position in key areas is delaying progress, but there is still time for negotiations to evolve in a positive direction."

This Conference marks the 20th anniversary of the first Earth Summit held in Rio in 1992, where Canada was an outstanding leader in global sustainability initiatives.

"During the consultations we heard what are Canadians' priorities, and phasing out fossil fuels subsidies is one of them," explained Marie-Pierre, National Director of We Canada. "The Canadian government has to stop obstructing global progressive initiatives and back the numerous countries that are leading the way towards a green economy."

On June 17, the Government of Brazil took the slow negotiations into its own hands and presented a consolidated text in order to accelerate agreement.  They urged country delegates to discuss real problems rather than edit language.

We Canada is a non-partisan, nation-wide and youth-led citizen initiative mobilizing for Canadian leadership in sustainability at Rio+20.

SOURCE One Earth

For further information:

For latest updates on the negotiations contact Aleksandra Nasteska, co-founder, aleksandra@earthsummit.ca

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