20-22 June 2012 // The Rio+20 conference has
lead to much disappointment, especially from civil society and NGO
representatives. A compromise text of the Rio declaration entitled "The
Future We Want", containing 283 articles, does not meet expectations. The
set up of concrete sustainable development goals is postponed to a future date
and the set up of a global environmental agency with real powers will most
likely never take place.
Although the EU
representation pushed for more ambitious goals and measures, many actors opposed
such proposals. The United States was opposed to a strengthening of the UN
Environment Programme and developing countries lead by Brazil were weary of
setting up concrete measures relating to the "green economy" –
unsurprising given the fact that most of the technologies and know-how enabling
a green economy are the property of developed states.
As a civil society
organisation, we will continue to lobby and push for more ambitious goals and
measures but looking back at the enduring failures of international agreements
and government lead actions, we also need to develop alternatives such aspromoting grassroots initiatives.
COFACE calls upon its
national member organisations, families and citizens of the EU to get involved
in local sustainable development projects lead by civil society
. Many examples exist such as the cooperative
movement (see the Spanish COFACE member ASGECO's initiative on local
consumption of bio fruits and vegetables
), group buying, the covenant of mayors
or transition movement
and transition towns
It is time we took our future
in our own hands...
For children to be brought up in a family environment that cares about Sustainable Development and is also engaged with community life, will enable them to grow up as involved members of a liveable and fair world. We all bear responsibility for our future.
Families in particular, through the ways they live, move around and consume, can have a significant impact on the development of our society. They are mindful of that role, and clearly have a growing desire for and interest in more civic-minded and responsible consuming.
This being so, COFACE has set itself the objective of building awareness and guiding Europe’s families towards "more sustainable consumption”. But such controlled and responsible consumption cannot be achieved without a supply of sustainable goods by industries and businesses, as well as how they organise it, and this makes "sustainable production" vital to linking family and working life, such as through company clean travel plans, training in Sustainable Development, etc. Public authorities – both national and European – also have a major role to play by taking measures that enable a Sustainable Development policy to be framed for our societies and our families.
COFACE, as a family and consumer citizen organisation, is mindful of the efforts that families must make in order to change their behaviour in a way that enables society to develop in a sustainable manner. It will support the framing and implementation of long-term policies by the European institutions which combine environmental protection with economic performance and social equity. It is concerned that recognition be given to the interests of all the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Published on 04 Jun 2007
Updated on 05 Jul 2012