Since returning from Rio, I have already participated in a number of debriefings about the summit. I am pleased to see the interest, but dismayed to find many people have already accepted the message that the Summit had been a "flop" or a "failure."
No, the document that government officials produced after months of negotiation doesn't contain much that will make the planet a better place for me or my daughters. It lacks teeth. It ignores pressing issues like the need to expand renewable energy and protect ocean life on the high seas.
Over 1 million citizens throughout the world have already called on their leaders to phase out fossil fuel subsides. We need your help to send a clear signal to world leaders at Rio+20 that it is time to end fossil fuel subsidies.
Around the dump, impoverished Brazilians live, work and play in the discards of consumerism. Toxic chemicals, fetid liquid, and a river of plastic trash all pollute the salt water around the mangroves, which eventually runs out to the sea.
I now have even greater hope that this Earth Summit will be important and historic. But we will have to be able to see how much has changed since the 1992 summit and what is really going on in Rio and the world.
Humans have incredible technological skill and drive to produce and expand. This skill and drive, however, is not yet matched by a drive to collectively curtail the massive environmental damage we are wreaking on the Earth and the systems that keep us alive.
NRDC, with Stakeholder Forum and Road to Rio+20, recently launched the Earth Summit Watch -- a country-by-country progress tracker of the ambition (or lack thereof) of preparations before we all meet in Rio.
22 high level representatives have just released Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing, setting out recommendations to "put sustainable development into practice and... economic policy as quickly as possible."
So here's my message to governments: What's taking you so long? By all means negotiate new targets and goals for 2020 or 2030, for example to improve energy efficiency and massively increase the share of renewable energy worldwide.
Next year at the Earth Summit, countries and companies have a chance to build upon momentum by committing to deeper actions to spur renewable energy deployment. This is an important opportunity that shouldn't be missed.