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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote a guest post in The Guardian this week, sharing his observations going into the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. He asserted that despite a number of disagreements among the world’s leaders, the Rio+20 conference has already proved to be successful. The SG cited an increased global movement to tackle climate change among emerging economies—such as green growth strategies from Cambodia to South Africa—and corporations that have committed to corporate sustainability, mentioning Nike, Unilever and Microsoft’s carbon neutrality commitment as examples.
Other notable stories leading up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit include posts in The Huffington Post and Christian Science Monitor. The first story contends that fossil fuel subsidies and ocean acidification are among the most important items that need to be addressed at Rio+20. Frances Beinecke and Trip Van Noppen explain in the Huffington Post that emissions from fossil fuels not only contribute to global warming but have led to ocean acidification, which can have adverse impact on marine life. For low-lying countries that rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, these two subjects demonstrate how addressing climate change can help the world’s poor. Meanwhile, Christian Science Monitor’s Dennis Posadas argued that Rio delegates must look beyond carbon dioxide emissions and begin to looks at ways to reduce the emissions of black carbon. He noted that implementing reduction methods for this kind of carbon is not only easier than reducing carbon but that there are already international systems in place to foster reductions.