For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

Green economy possible with political will
The absence of ?climate change? headlines on the news websites in recent months has been striking. The environment seems to have given place to pressing financial issues. As a consequence, it is more difficult than it was to galvanise energy to adapt to a phenomenon which is already having an impact on some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.

Damage has also been done by exaggerated fear-inducing scenarios. These have merely increased both scepticism about what is still the great weight of scientific opinion and undermined an appropriate sense of urgency about the challenges we face.

In a democracy, of course, with general elections every five years, it is not possible for politicians to get too far ahead of public opinion. The Church and other faith communities have a role in enlarging the room for manoeuvre so that sympathetic politicians can take the action they know to be necessary.

This was one of the lessons of the Jubilee 2000 and the Make Poverty History campaigns. Working on a longer time scale, it is vital that religious bodies stand by the resolutions that many of them passed at the high point of concern about climate change in 2007.

Only a crisis brings about real change. When the crisis occurs the ideas that are adopted are those which are readily available. It is part of the duty of the Church to keep alive alternative ways of thinking and living in preparation for the time when the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.

One of the great mysteries is how sober scientific analysis can be repeated from conference to conference, with no impact on our behaviour. The Church operates in a different and often more vivid language, the language of the acted parable.

To draw attention to the scandalous waste of food in this country there was an event, organised by the author Tristram Stuart, to feed 5,000 people in Trafalgar Square from the scraps that would have been discarded by supermarkets. Food on a biblical scale was served, with 5,000 curries, a quarter of a ton of smoothies and three tons of fresh groceries being given away to hungry Londoners.

The event will be held again this year, this time in collaboration with the Mayor of London.

Cathedrals go solar

Some of the most valuable work is being done in the network of church schools and many of our most influential ambassadors on the environmental challenge can be found among schoolchildren. This summer, at a celebration of 200 years of church schools held in York Minster, green-fingered pupils shared their commitment at an environment seminar run by Shrinking the Footprint, the Church of England?s national environmental campaign.

The range of initiatives was impressive. There were vegetable gardens, bird boxes, nature sanctuaries, recycling centres for the whole community and eco-checklists for school buildings to reduce their energy consumption.

From cathedrals to small city churches, saving energy and money through solar panels is a growing trend. This year both Coventry and Bradford cathedrals announced plans to ??go solar?? while there are already eight solar panel installations up and running in parishes across London. Not only are these churches gaining the practical benefit from the technology but their actions help to raise the environmental consciousness of the community.

It is easy to be immobilised by the scale of the challenges we face. People have to be persuaded that small personal actions are important. The actions of individuals can make a difference in aggregate but they can also transform a theoretical understanding of the problems we face into the kind of awareness that shapes behaviour and generates energy for action with others.

From thought to destiny

Ralph Waldo Emerson described the transition between mere thoughts and propositions to transformation in this way: ?Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny?.
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