The Future We Don’t Want
Yesterday gave us a critical look at what to expect on the Road to Rio. The Future We Want initiative-being billed as a mechanism to solicit public input on the outcomes for Rio+20- is looking more and more like the future that the 1% wants, and less like a future focused on human rights, equity and a livable planet. Watching the showdown between the US and the G77 during the informal negotiations on the Zero Draft of the Outcomes document made it clear that for the US and other G20 member-states, Big Business and Big Finance are calling the shots.
At a panel hosted by Business Action for Sustainable Development-a coalition of private-sector organizations like the International Federation of Private Water Operations, the International Council on Mining and Metals, the International Council of Chemical Associations, and the International Chamber of Commerce-we heard strategies to strengthen public-private partnerships in the context of sustainable development and economic growth. Members of the panel included representatives from Barbados, Vietnam and the bioplastics industry. The representative from Barbados summed up fairly clearly the line being fed to civil society and smaller nations by the US:
Transition to Green Economy will require significant scaling up of financial resources. Public sector will remain crucial to provide funding to leverage private resources and to kickstart green economy investment. It is the private sector that will provide the vast majority of resources needed to move forward with the green economy.
In the context of the Green Economy, the private sector is expecting to grow on the backs of the public sector, demanding support from national governments and pushing the risks of investment and finance onto the 99%. Say hello to the Future We Don’t Want.
Stay tuned for more on the neoliberal agenda as it makes it way down the Road to Rio+20. Today we’ll be checking out events on public and private partnerships for the Sustainable Energy For All (SEFA) initiative being promoted by Bank of America, and women’s critical perspectives on the Green Economy.