Ahead of a mammoth United Nations sustainability conference in Rio de Janeiro next month, the Brazilian government has signaled a new push to get the U.N.’s top environmental body upgraded – a push long opposed by the United States.
Brazil wants to breathe new life into an initiative — vigorously promoted since the 1990s by European leaders — to replace the 40 year-old U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) with a full-fledged “specialized agency,” dubbed the U.N. Environment Organization (UNEO).
Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira told a press briefing last Friday that the issue was a priority for her government, but she acknowledged that “there is no consensus in international organizations on the proposal to create an environment agency” during the summit, known as Rio+20.