Environmental law experts meeting in Baltimore this week are putting a more positive spin on the results of the Rio+20 summit.
Speakers assessing the impact of the recent summit in Brazil said Monday that many focused too much on what was left out of the summit’s final document. Many activists were hoping for calls to end fossil fuel subsidies and stronger ocean protection.
Amy Fraenkel, a regional director of the United Nations Environment Program, said the text included important language on reducing ocean pollution, particularly from plastics, and the development of sustainable cities.
Brazilian High Court Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, meanwhile, said the text can be used by judges and lawmakers worldwide to help craft and implement sustainable development legislation.
The two spoke at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law a little more than a week after the Rio+20 summit wrapped up in Brazil. Scott Fulton, general counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was also scheduled to speak.
Participants will also discuss topics ranging from how to improve the effectiveness of environmental law to climate change, environmental security, diplomacy, and governing water supplies.
The event, the 10th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, began Sunday night and continues through July 5. Live webcasts of the plenary sessions can be viewed on the law school’s website.