Minister in call for action
ENVIRONMENT Minister John Griffiths has returned from the Rio Earth summit, with good and bad news.
Global leaders voted to include the role of regional governments in the agreed declaration text outlining how the world should move forward in addressing environmental issues.
The text includes an agreement to develop sustainable development goals, an acknowledgement that a green economy can reduce poverty, and recognition of the need to use natural resources sustainably.
Mr Griffiths said he spread the word about Welsh Government actions on this front, including £66 million spent improving the energy efficiency of 7,500 Welsh homes.
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But he also called on leaders to make the declaration stronger. Given the scale of the problem, he had hoped nations would commit to concrete actions.
"The world is set on an unsustainable course and the window for action is closing," he said. "It is clear that progress can happen quickest at regional level with regional governments being the true leaders in sustainability."
He added: "Despite the text lacking ambition, I am pleased that Wales now has an opportunity to lead the way."
Jim Leape, director general of conservation group WWF branded the Rio+20 declaration a "colossal failure of leadership and vision".
Mr Leape added: "World leaders 'recognised' problems 20 years ago, and they've done little about them since."