WWF Seeking To Quash Sustainable Development At Rio
Melbourne – Pro-development NGO, World Growth, has released a report issuing a warning over the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF)
ambitions at the upcoming Rio+20 Conference. World Growth’s report – Road to Rio: How WWF’s Green Economy Strategy Would Impoverish The Poor
– warns against WWF’s goal of replacing ‘sustainable development’ with the ‘green economy’. The report draws attention
to WWF’s efforts to elevate environmental considerations above economic or social considerations – contrary to the
accepted definition of sustainable development, which treats all three considerations equally. The report concludes that
while developing nations will continue to support the traditional definition of sustainable development, WWF will
invariably seek to push a ‘green economy’ through their misuse of sustainable standards and certification schemes.
World Growth Chairman, Ambassador Alan Oxley released the following statement:
“WWF earlier this month released its ‘Living Planet Report’ which argues that we would somehow need two Planet Earths by
2030 to sustain human activity. This unsubstantiated viewpoint belittles the developing world’s poor who have benefited
from economic development to raise living standards.
“At a time when the global economy is struggling and all nations have recognised the need to increase the level of free
trade to stimulate the global economy, WWF is taking a proposition to the Rio+20 Conference which will make free trade
and economic growth subservient to the environment. The European Commission has called for the “reform of international
sustainable governance” to promote a ‘green economy’. That is, global governance for the promotion of environmental
standards. WWF also argues for the inclusion of a monetary value on natural resources, or ‘natural capital’, to be
included in figures on economic growth. This too is a mechanism to ensure that poverty alleviation comes second to
“This has been a long-term goal of WWF. It has consistently argued for the need to temper or control free trade
agreements with environmental standards. By seeking to redefine the core goal of the United Nations Conference on
Sustainable Development as the ‘green economy’, WWF is seeking to restrain free trade.
“Developing nations and many non-governmental organisations do not share WWF’s disdain for economic growth and poverty
alleviation. The proposition will not be endorsed at the Rio+20 Conference. However, businesses and governments alike
must be aware that WWF will continue to push these standards through their certification and sustainability standards.
Certification schemes such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the Forest Stewardship Council aim to control
the supply chain and enforce their environmental standards as conditions of trade.
“WWF’s barriers to trade will prove to be highly detrimental not only to those living in developing nations, but also to
the developed world as they struggle to emerge from the current economic downturn.”