The Rio+20 climate summit in Brazil is expected to end today (22 June 2012) with the agreement on an “outcome document” that lacks both global ambition and action.

The document, ‘The Future We Want’, reaffirms the principles from Rio 1992, but offers little besides a commitment to start negotiation about “sustainable development goals”.

Per Fischer, Communications Officer, Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:
“It was high time for the UN to prioritise real solutions that deliver climate justice and economic justice for all, and serve the public interest instead of bowing to corporate concerns. In that respect, Rio+20 was an utter failure.

“The outcome agreement says the lack of sustainable global progress since 1992 is due to financial and energy crises, but it is exactly the insufficient progress that has caused these crises, so this analysis is completely flawed.”

Friends of the Earth International chair Nnimmo Bassey today (22 June 2012) met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to deliver a civil society statement denouncing the corporate domination of the United Nations.

The statement is part of a Friends of the Earth International’s campaign ‘Reclaim the UN’, which this week published a new report exposing the increasing influence of major corporations and business lobby groups within the UN.

Nnimmo Bassey said: “Governmental positions have been increasingly hijacked by narrow corporate interests linked to polluting industries and business sectors seeking to profit from the environment, the climate and the financial crises.”

The report ‘Reclaim the UN from Corporate Capture’ presents a number of cases that clearly expose how UN policies and agencies are excessively influenced by the corporate sector, for instance oil company Shell, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, the Coca Cola company, and the Chinese oil giant PetroChina.

According to the new report, the positions of national governments in multilateral negotiations are increasingly influenced by business. Business representatives dominate certain UN discussion spaces and some UN bodies, business groups are given a privileged advisory role, UN officials move back and forth to the private sector, and – last but not least – UN agencies are increasingly financially dependent on the private sector.

Nnimmo Bassey met Ban Ki-moon in a meeting with the organisers of the alternative Peoples Summit in Rio, which include Friends of the Earth International.

More than 400 civil society organizations representing millions of people from around the world signed the statement.


For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland e: pfischer@foe-scotland.org.uk

Notes to Editors

1. “The Future We Want” – Rio+20 outcome agreement

2. Civil society statement to reclaim UN from corporate capture

3. Reclaim the UN from corporate capture – report with case studies

4. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.