Rio+20 – the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is taking place in Brazil, on June 20-22th 2012. The summit is the 20 year follow up to the 1992 Earth Summit. Although they were due to send a delegation of 11 MEPs to Rio, the EU Parliament last week announced that it had decided to cancel its participation in the event. The reason: high hotel costs.
According the an article in The Parliament.com, room costs were said to be around €600 per room per night. This would have taken the overall costs to over €100,000. In addition, due to a required minumum stay of 7 nights, it would have been neccessary to pay for empty rooms.
Matthias Groote, environment committee chairman said “The huge increase in the estimated cost of attending the summit is simply not justifiable, especially at a time when many Europeans are faced with economic hardship“.
Groote has asked Martin Schulz to register a formal complaint to the secretary-general of the conference. A delegation from the European Commission will attend, led by Janez Potocnik, the European commissioner for the environment.
The Parliament.com, 10th May 2012 EU parliament calls off sending delegation to Rio summit
IPS, 16th May 2012 European Parliament Absent in Sustainability Summit