Rio+20 Deal Would Weaken Energy, Water Pledges
Governments are set to weaken pledges on boosting access to water and energy after a new draft negotiating text was issued at the Rio+20 meeting. The text was issued by the Brazilian host government after it assumed leadership of the talks from the UN. It affirms that nations must not slide back on prior pledges and names ending poverty as the "greatest challenge".
Brazil wants the text signed off before 130 heads of government and other ministers arrive. The 50-page text, obtained by BBC News, gives developing countries much of what they have been asking for in terms of principles without agreeing to their demands for firm pledges of financial and technological assistance from the West. In response to charges that richer countries were attempting to weaken prior commitments on aid and other issues, the text is explicit: "We emphasise the need to make progress in implementing previous commitments... it is critical that we honour all previous commitments, without regression".
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