Greenpeace Press Statement: Rio+20 Earth Summit- a failure of epic proportions

Press release - 22 June, 2012
Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo comment: Rio+20 Earth Summit - a failure of epic proportions

Rio, Brazil, June 22, 2012 -The Rio Earth Summit was over before it started. The deal that they claim will provide the Future we Want was watered down and agreed before heads of state and government even got on their planes. One by one the few proposed commitments and targets were deleted.

The Oceans Rescue Plan for the High Seas held out longest but was bulldozed by an unholy alliance of the US and Venezuela, together with Russia and Canada, at 2am on Tuesday morning.

All we have witnessed is three days of empty rhetoric and greenwash from world leaders. This Summit will go down in history as Greenwash+20. Governments have failed to produce the historic deal we need to address the perfect storm of crises: of equity, ecology and economy.

We didn’t get the Future we Want in Rio, because we do not have the leaders we need. The leaders of the most powerful countries supported Business as Usual, shamefully putting private profit before people and the planet. 

The ‘Future we Want’ was never going to be decided in Rio. It is being decided, each and every day in Capitals and boardrooms around the world. That is where we need to turn our attention.

Rio+20 has been a failure of epic proportions, we must now work together to form a movement to tackle the equity, ecology and economic crises being forced on our children. The only outcome of this Summit is justifiable anger, an anger that we must turn into action.

For more information or arrange an interview with Kumi Naidoo contact:

Steve Smith +55 21 9236 8518 or

A top line break down of the main elements of the agreed Rio outcome document can be found at