Johnathan Watts – The Guardian, 06/21/2012
Building a global consensus on sustainability is becoming increasingly difficult as a result of economic crises and a US political climate that is increasingly hostile to action on climate change, according to Gro Harlem Brundtland, one of the chief architects of the first Rio Earth summit in 1992.
The former Norwegian prime minister lamented the absence of Barack Obama, David Cameron and many other leaders from the follow-up Rio+20 conference currently taking place in Brazil, but said they faced circumstances that are very different from those of the 1992 summit.
“The absences are not good and they don’t look good. One explanation is the terrible difficulties in Europe. The Europeans would normally feel like they should be here,” she told the Guardian. “The financial and economic problems that some countries face don’t make it easier for them to agree on things that they would have agreed to before 2008.”