Vienna, 4 June 2012
On the occasion of the World Environment Day on 5 June 2012, which is held under the motto "Green Economy", Naturefriends demand a clear political roadmap with specific obligations, encompassing a systematic change of the economic systems and taking into account the ecological and social dimension.
In a few weeks, at the end of June, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Like this year's World Environment Day of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on 5 June, it will be held under the motto of "Green Economy". But what is this much-quoted "Green Economy"? There is no clear-cut definition, just as there are no clear responsibilities. Who is to make the economy a greener, more sustainable, more just and more environmentally sound one – at the global level?
For Naturefriends International (NFI), "Green Economy" poses more questions than it gives answers. "The United Nations seem to have too high expectations of the private sector's ability and willingness to act," says Manfred Pils, president of NFI. Declaring the private sector to be mainly responsible for sustainability would be like setting the fox to keep the geese. "Creating our society is the first and foremost task of elected politicians. This responsibility must not and cannot be delegated to 'the economy'," explains Mr Pils.
"Solely focussing on the gross domestic product and on economic growth has lead us to where we are today," underlines Manfred Pils. We are living in a time of change towards a new era. The limits of growth are outlined ever more distinctly and fundamental reforms will be necessary. Only if ecological, economic and social aspects are dealt with as a coherent entity, the transition towards a green economy will be highly beneficial for both society and the environment.
The United Nations Conference "Rio+20" in June 2012 will provide an opportunity to discuss and enhance the numerous existing propositions on how to obtain prosperity for all without damaging the environment. Naturefriends call upon the political decision-makers to seize this opportunity and assume their responsibility for a sustainable development of our society.
NFI is the international umbrella organisation of the Naturefriends movement which has more than 50 member organisations and about 500,000 members. Creation and implementation of a sustainable development are at the heart of the organisation's work. NFI is member of the "Green 10", a network of ten leading environmental NGOs that are active at EU level.
Queries and contact:
President of Naturefriends International
Tel.: +43 664 82 85 204
Naturefriends International, Public Relations
Tel.: +43 (0)1 89 23 877-22