Earth Day Network Convoy on the Road to Rio

From June 20-22, the eyes of the world will be on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. World leaders, drawn by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (aka “Rio+20”), will decide whether and how to deal with a broad range of issues that affect the environment. Earth Day Network will be there to make sure your voices are heard.

Rio+20 is a chance to move away from business-as-usual and act to end poverty, address environmental destruction, jumpstart the green economy and chart a course to a sustainable future.

But it will be impossible to usher in the green economy if fossil fuel subsidies continue hampering the progress of clean energy technology. Last year alone, over $500 billion was given to some of the richest corporations on the planet to promote fossil fuel extraction and use. Fossil fuel subsidies drive climate change, drain public resources, and make it virtually impossible for clean energy sources to compete in the market. We need the leaders gathered in Rio to agree to a binding international commitment to end these subsidies.

You can help deliver that message by signing the petition asking leaders to create a plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies around the world.

We’re going into Rio with the wind at our backs. More than one billion people across 192 countries participated in Earth Day 2012. Under the banner Mobilize the Earth™, thousands of events sent the message that the environment and the green economy need to be top priorities for world leaders – that ordinary people all over the world are doing their part, so it’s time for their leaders to do the same. Earth Day Network is channeling that momentum to Rio.

Earth Day Network set a goal of inspiring A Billion Acts of Green® by Earth Day 2012 to show world leaders the breadth of support for strong, coordinated action to deal with our most pressing environmental problems. We blew that goal out of the water, and we’re going to take this accomplishment to the leaders gathered in Rio, holding it up as a global referendum on the environment.

Because women make up half the global population and make about 85 percent of all consumer choices, our Women and the Green Economy (WAGE®) campaign has been conducting a global consultative process with women leaders in business, government and NGOs to develop policy proposals that would further include women in defining and designing the green economy and channel green investment to benefit women. We’re going to be feeding ideas from these consultations directly into the Rio+20 process through our seat on the Women’s Rio+20 Steering Committee.

But will all the key leaders be there to hear the message? Heads of state from big players like China, India, Brazil, Russia, Japan, France and many others have committed to being at Rio+20. Notably, however, President Obama has not yet committed to being there. Click here to see the letter that Earth Day Network and other major environmental groups sent to Obama asking him to attend – and send your own letter.

In addition to bringing you news and updates between now and the conference, Earth Day Network will be reporting live from the conference right here on our blog and Twitter. Make sure to stay tuned.