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Dn! In Depth

Rio+20 Earth Summit

More than 100 heads of states and tens of thousands of people are gathered in Brazil for the Rio+20 Earth Summit, the largest United Nations conference ever. The gathering comes 20 years after the 1992 U.N. Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, when leaders pledged to protect the planet by endorsing treaties on biodiversity and climate change. Since then, few of the development goals have been reached in areas like food security, water, global warming and energy.

Top Stories

  • Suzuki
    As the Rio+20 Earth Summit — the largest U.N. conference ever — ends in disappointment, we’re joined by the leading Canadian scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster,...
    Jun 25, 2012 | Story
  • Crawfordchicagocoalbanner_frame
    Chicago has announced an agreement to close two of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants. For more than a decade, residents near the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants...
    Mar 01, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120202-23510-p3kwae-0
    Last week, President Obama called the United States "the Saudi Arabia of natural gas" in a speech about boosting domestic energy production. That concerns Wyoming farmer John...
    Feb 02, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20120202-781-ncsywy-0
    The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox was handcuffed and arrested Wednesday as he attempted to film a congressional hearing on the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as fracking, which the Environmental Protection Agency recently reported caused water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming. Fox directed the award-winning film, "Gasland," which documents the impact of fracking on communities across the United...
    Feb 02, 2012 | Story
  • The U.N.‘s 17th “Conference of Parties,” or COP 17, negotiations were extended, virtually nonstop, through Sunday, in hopes of avoiding complete failure. But despite optimistic pronouncements to the contrary, many believe the Kyoto Protocol died in Durban.
    Dec 14, 2011 | Columns & Articles
  • Splash_image20111212-29311-m4s08v-0
    In an exclusive interview, we speak with former Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, who is attending the U.N. climate change summit in Durban, South Africa. Papandreou was forced to resign last month when he suggested holding a national referendum to allow the Greek people to have a say in whether they would accept the European Union’s bailout plan which would necessitate severe austerity cuts. We speak to Papandreou about the...
    Dec 09, 2011 | Story
  • Splash_image20111212-29312-575x6k-0
    While no members of the U.S. Congress attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma recorded a video message that was aired at a press conference of climate change deniers here at the summit on Wednesday. "Tossing out any remote possibility of a U.N. global warming treaty is one of the most important things we can do for the economy," Sen. Inhofe said. "I’m...
    Dec 09, 2011 | Story
  • Splash_image20111212-29312-7wgctb-0
    Martin Khor is the executive director of the South Centre, a research center of 51 developing countries. At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, we caught up with Khor to discuss the negotiations over a new Green Climate Fund to help the developing world tackle climate change, the U.S. role in the summit, and why the U.S.-led focus on China’s emissions obscures the reality that the U.S. emits far more greenhouse gas...
    Dec 09, 2011 | Story
  • Splash_image20111209-25901-lraqzv-0
    For analysis on where the U.N. climate change talks stand, we are joined by two guests who have been closely tracking the role of the U.S. negotiating team over the past two weeks. Kate Horner is a policy analyst at Friends of the Earth, and Michael Dorsey is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College. "In those briefings, we’ve seen, I think, a startling lack of vision, a startling level of obstructionism,...
    Dec 09, 2011 | Story
  • Button-oil
    We look at rising fuel costs, one of the major issues raised by the Republican contenders in the 2012 presidential campaign. Since the beginning of the year, the average of price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 16 percent to more than $3.80. Earlier this week, President Obama partially blamed his Republican rivals, saying one reason for the increase is rumors of war with Iran. Meanwhile, Republican candidates have used the spike in...
    Mar 14, 2012 | Story
  • Nasheed
    Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, ousted in a coup last month, joins us in studio along with Jon Shenk, director of "The Island President," a new documentary about Nasheed’s rise to power and his climate activism. The tiny Indian Ocean state of Maldives remains in a state of political turmoil seven weeks after Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected president, was ousted in what he has described as a coup at...
    Mar 29, 2012 | Story
  • Nnimmo_bassey
    We’re joined from the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio by Nnimmo Bassey, executive director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, chair of Friends of the Earth International. "The leaders came to Rio with, clearly, very low ambitions, and probably with the desire to block agreements on any issue that would not be of particular benefit to them or their countries," Bassey says. "They’ve come out with a draft agreement...
    Jun 21, 2012 | Story
  • Brittany_trilford
    On Wednesday, 17-year-old environmental activist Brittany Trilford of Wellington, New Zealand, addressed more than a hundred heads of state at the opening plenary of the Rio+20 U.N. Earth Summit, the largest United Nations gathering ever. "We are all aware that time is ticking, and we are quickly running out," Trilford said. "You have 72 hours to decide the fate of your children, my children, my children’s children. And I...
    Jun 21, 2012 | Story
  • Rio20
    Leaders from more than 100 countries are meeting today in Brazil for the start of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, the largest United Nations conference ever. The conference comes 20 years after the U.N. Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro pledged to protect the planet by endorsing treaties on biodiversity and climate change. Little has been done in the intervening years to reach development goals in areas like food security, water, global warming and...
    Jun 20, 2012 | Story
  • Splash_image20111212-29311-hhybgq-0
    In 2010, then-Ambassador Pablo Solón headed Bolivia’s climate negotiating team for the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Cancún, Mexico. However, for this year’s climate summit he joined climate justice activists outside the official conference in the streets of Durban demanding the United States, and other historically large greenhouse gas emitters, agree to legally binding emissions cuts. "Developed countries, like the U.S.,...
    Dec 12, 2011 | Story
  • Splash_image20111212-29311-1904ir4-0
    During the final official day of the United Nations climate change talks in Durban on Friday, more than 150 activists "occupied" the conference as they marched through the halls calling for a fair, legally binding agreement before being told to leave by U.N. security. Protesters were careful not to disrupt the actual negotiations and said a delay in action on climate change could cause large swaths of Africa to be uninhabitable....
    Dec 12, 2011 | Story
  • Splash_image20111212-29311-1gvawxy-0
    The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, has ended with an agreement to start negotiations for a new legally binding climate treaty to be decided by 2015 — and to come into force by 2020. Negotiators also agreed to a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and the initial design of a Green Climate Fund. Many environmental groups say the agreement does not do enough to deal with the climate crisis....
    Dec 12, 2011 | Story
  • Severn_suzuki_boxes
    In 1992, 12-year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki became known as "the girl who silenced the world for six minutes" after she addressed delegates in Rio de Janeiro during the summit’s plenary session. We air Cullis-Suzuki’s historic address and speak to her from the Rio+20 summit, which she comes back to now as a veteran international environmental campaigner and mother of two. "Twenty years later, the world is still talking...
    Jun 21, 2012 | Story
  • Button-maldives-webex
    We continue our interview with ousted Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and ask him if he plans to seek office again. "I will contest the coming elections," Nasheed says, noting that, "if the coup was so popular, we would have seen people coming out, rejoicing with the military." [includes rush transcript]
    Mar 29, 2012 | Web Exclusive
  • Splash_image20111209-24265-1cpyjsn-0
    A number of protests are being held today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban to protest the failure of world leaders to agree to immediately agree to a deal of binding emissions cuts. Anjali Appadurai, a student at the College of the Atlantic in Maine, addressed the conference on behalf of youth delegates. Just after her speech, she led a mic check from the stage — a move inspired by the Occupy Wall Street...
    Dec 09, 2011 | Story