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Rio+20: It’s time for developing countries to step up, says Italy’s Minister of Environment

By Tierney Smith
RTCC in Rio 

Italy’s Minister for Environment has told RTCC that the Rio+20 summit marks the point where emerging economies need to take responsibility for ensuring their economic growth is achieved in as sustainable fashion as possible.

Speaking at the Rio+20 summit in Brazil, Corrado Clini told RTCC: “We have to take into account that in the last 20 years, the economy in the world has changed. In ’92 the developed countries were asked to commit to the sustainable development of all the planet.”

RTCC Video: Ed King talks to Minister Clini at the Pavilion TV studio in the Rio Conventions Pavilion at the Earth Summit in Brazil about common but differentiated responsibility, Italy’s role at the conference and what the Summit could achieve…

“In 2012 we have to say the former developing countries, the emerging economies have the responsibility to join a common objective in the development of sustainable technologies for addressing the future, of feeding economic growth with low carbon technologies and with effective technologies.”

As countries begin the final preparatory talks before the high-level section of the Rio+20 Summit next week, countries are still at odds over many aspects of the text.

In a similar trend to the climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC, the idea of common but differentiated responsibility – the historic responsibility of the developed world for the problems we currently face – is a key sticking point for many countries.

While Clini stresses that this idea should not be abandoned, he urges the emerging economies – some of the fastest growing economies in the world – to step up and accept their share of the responsibility moving forward.

While he does not expect to see a global treaty come of the discussions taking place in Brazil, he hopes that they will set a new pathway for action over the coming decades, which takes into account the current economic reality and provides a new format for negotiations which will see emerging economies partner with Europe.

“In the end if you look at the reality of the economy we can say that after Rio+20 we should change the format,” he said. “We should start to consider how to join the developed countries and the emerging economies in a common objective to the future of the planet.

“Today we have mainly a common responsibility.”

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