Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC)
- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Submission Document: Download
- Additional Document:
For a just and fair one-planet politics!
In the summer of 2011, Finnish Association for Nature Conservation ran a project targeting the nine
major groups of the UN sustainable development governance to collect views on what must be
achieved in the Rio+20 summit. We gathered views from the representatives of all the nine major
groups as well in a seminar as in an online survey.
The proposals were presented to the Finnish parliament in a parliamentary hearing in September
2011, and they have been used as a basis for these answers.
a. What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals
in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?
The starting point for the Rio+20 has to be a just one-planet politics. To get started with sustainable
development and Rio+20, it's high time that we focus on the essentials: food and water, energy, and
democracy. Thus, we need the following:
- Food and clean water for all. The poorest fifth of the world needs all our support in
securing the basic necessities of life for themselves.
- The basic needs of the people must be guaranteed. The consumption of the natural
resources will not be sustainable, until at least a basic safety net for the people in the global
south can be provided. A social security system that fulfills at least the basic needs would
probably curb population growth and the use of natural resources.
- The on-going mass extinction must be stopped by 2020 and a carbon neutral society
created by 2050. Apparently, the first steps taken in Johannesburg in 2002 are not enough.
This work needs to continue in Rio in 2012.
- Energy consumption must fall heavily in the industrialized countries. Reducing
emissions is not enough, because energy consumption produces also indirect emissions. To
lower the environmental impacts, the energy consumption of the richest fifth of the world
must be made reasonable at once.
- From the power of capital to the power of people. Transition from the power of capital to
the power of people is a prerequisite for a sustainable future. The poorest must be given the
power to decide on the use of the world's resources, too. Instead of prioritizing the growth of
the capital we must prioritize the well-being of the weakest.
- The developed countries must acknowledge their ecological debt and stop adding to it. The
citizens in these countries must be directed to adopting a less consuming lifestyle.
- A convention on the use of natural resources and a strong international panel on natural
resources is needed. Annual quotas for resource use and emissions and a global
environmental tax on energy should be implemented.
- It is necessary to establish the United Nations Environment Organization (UNEO), an
International environmental court, and a Council for future generations, and to
promote the UN Commission on Sustainable Development to a Council, like the Human
Rights Council. Taking the environmental crisis and the well-being of future generations
seriously requires a new kind of a strong and democratic international governance.
b. What are the comments, if any, on existing proposals: e.g., a green economy roadmap,
framework for action, sustainable development goals, a revitalized global partnership for
sustainable development, or others?
The society must free itself from the obsession of economic growth, because an indefinitely
growing GDP is incompatible with environmental sustainability. Green and service-intensive
economy can be sustainable only when its material basis and natural resource consumption are
shrinking globally. We need:
- Global progressive environmental tax. We need progressive environmental taxes in order
to promote social security, equality and environmental protection. These taxes function as
effective economic incentives and generate revenue for the state. Income tax works well for
that purpose, but energy taxes and luxury taxes on consumption need to be developed
- Global basic income for women. A basic income of two dollars a day for every woman and
girl would be one of the most efficient ways to increase well-being and curb population
- Abolition of harmful subsidies and arms race. Cutting fossil fuel subsidies, indirect
subsidies to nuclear power, and excessive armament would release hundreds of billions of
euros for investments in a sustainable future.
c. What are the views on implementation and on how to close the implementation gap, which
relevant actors are envisaged as being involved (Governments, specific Major Groups, UN
system, IFIs, etc.);
- Restricting the influence of multinational corporations. Twenty years after Rio, the
climate emissions are still growing, the extinction of species is accelerating, and global
economic inequality is higher than ever. The single most important reason to this is the
strong opposition of the multinational corporations to the implementation of the Rio agenda.
In the future, the lobbying by corporations and their interest groups has to be transparent.
The connection of corporations to the decision-making process has to be communicated
clearly to the citizens, e.g., in the form of an open and mandatory register.
d. What specific cooperation mechanisms, partnership arrangements or other implementation
tools are envisaged and what is the relevant time frame for the proposed decisions to be
reached and actions to be implemented?
" Protecting the rights of civil activists. In many countries, activists working for a
sustainable and just future are being persecuted for their actions, at worst even murdered.
Protecting civil activism and the rights of civil activists is a fundamental task of all the states
that must not be neglected.
(For additional points, see the joint proposal submitted by the Finnish Service Center for Development
Cooperation, the "Finnish NGOs' Contribution to Rio+20 Bureau Compilation Document")
Mr. Jouni Nissinen
Head of environmental protection
Finnish Association for Nature Conservation
cell. +358-40-828 1881
The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) is the largest membership-based environmental non-governmental organization in Finland.
FANC has over 30,000 individual members in almost 200 local member associations in 15 district organizations all over the country. It has similar but
bigger sister organizations in the other Nordic countries Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
FANC works on nature conservation and environmental policy on the municipal, regional, national, and EU levels. Important fields of work are forest
protection, climate change prevention and sustainable energy policy, mire and water protection, sustainable production and consumption and
ecological fiscal reform, management and protection of cultural landscapes, land use issues and protection of endangered species, and waste policy
FANC is a member in several international coalitions, such as Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), European Environmental Bureau (EEB), World
Conservation Union (IUCN), OCEAN2012, Climate Action Network (CAN), Green Budget Europe (GBE), Taiga Rescue Network (TRN), and
Northern Alliance for Sustainability (ANPED).
More information: www.sll.fi/english