Occupy London supports Occupy Rio+20 Peoples’ Petition
Occupy London has joined with other members of the global Occupy movement to issue a radical sign-on statement calling on negotiators at the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development to raise their ambition to the level that the science demands. Noting that humanity has breached three of the nine planetary boundaries , the statement says: “Governments, corporations and financial institutions must wake up and dramatically prioritise people & the planet over abusive exploitation for short-term profit & “growth”.
The authors invite all individuals, organisations, Occupy working groups or General Assemblies who support their list of demands to sign the electronic petition at http://occupyrioplus20.net.
The statement calls for:
- Renewal of democracy and the public interest in UN processes
- A renewed commitment to achieving development goals enabled by cancelling illegitimate poor country debt, ending tax havens and introducing a financial transaction tax
- Action to deliver the peace that is fundamental to development
- A global fee on carbon and an end to fossil fuel subsidies to drive the rapid transition to a renewable energy economy
- Making Ecocide the Fifth Crime Against Peace and regulation for a steady-state economy
- A rejection of the drive to profit from nature and an end to deforestation
- Food and water sovereignty delivered through a ban on land-grabs, strengthened land rights and a subsidy switch from bio-fuels and chemical-industrial agriculture to small-scale agro-ecology
- A genuine indicator of social and environmental progress to replace GDP
Printed copies of the statement were distributed en masse at the United Nations building this week in New York, where talks continued on agreeing the Rio+20 outcome document.
Last month Occupy London joined the civil society call for an end to the corporate capture of the UN  and, separately, the call to recognise the Rights of Mother Earth in the Rio+20 text .
James Chamuhanya Gondwe from Lilongwe, Malawi said: “Climate change poses a threat to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and most immediately it is people in developing countries who are most hit by the impacts of climate change despite not being responsible for the climate crisis. We call upon global leaders to prioritise people in their discussions at Rio+20.”
Adam Greenberg of Occupy Boston said: “The UN is filled with so much bureaucracy and corporate influence that often, almost nothing gets done and members start to tolerate weak and unambitious outcomes when urgent action is needed. Climate change means that we’re on a deadline so it’s imperative that Occupy is present and active at Rio+20 as the voice of the people, pushing the negotiations toward a sustainable outcome and an equitable, liveable planet.”
In October last year, UN General Secretary Ban-Ki Moon expressed his sympathies with Occupy protestors: “What you are seeing all around the world, starting from Wall Street, people are showing their frustrations, are trying to send a very clear and unambiguous message around the world“.
 Rockström et al “A Safe Operating Space for Humanity”, Nature (24 September 2009) http://www.nature.com/
 Friends of the Earth International et al. Joint Civil Society Statement “Ending Corporate Capture of the United Nations”, http://www.foei.org/
 “UN chief sympathises with economic protestors”, USA Today, 17 October 2011 http://www.usatoday.com/