With Rio+20 long gone, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me that most of the global populace has quickly and without bother discarded any knowledge of the convention, as well as the few and flimsy results that come of it, as though the whole thing was one pointless affair.
You could easily be fooled into thinking this is the case, considering so little of any worth, useful to effectively nobody matured from the talks, of which a large majority of the human race were crossing their fingers in the hope of a final resolution on all our woes and sufferings. Yes, there were a few pieces here and there, and the aptly-named ‘Future We Want’ paper was signed, but you only have to look a little further to see that anything with possible leanings towards a solid commitment and legal bindings within text was literally wiped away, replaced by ‘ifs’ and ‘taking steps towards’.
So coming from this, I felt it prudent to look back on one of the key agreements signed and ratified under the ancestor of this failed attempt at global democracy, the Rio 1992 Declaration, which actually managed to achieve what practically all other conventions that have come our way have failed to reproduce since - something worthwhile to the global community, which has stuck to this day and actually made an impact on ALL of our lives.
The ‘polluter pays’ principle is at its most basic, a very simple law pertaining to pollution from industry, whereby those who pollute must pay for the damage and degradation they bring upon the surrounding environment, whether it be through monetary forms (hard cash), incentives or compensation, effectively ‘making up’ for their shortsightedness.
This principle had one major point when it was conceived and globally upheld, namely that the inclusion of ‘pollution’ meant such things as fertilisers or insecticides, but has been rapidly adapted since to include greenhouse gases which pollute the atmosphere, for instance methane or CFCs. Due to this principle, and many others working in tandem, values of damaging pollutants in the environment has dropped significantly, and we have been able to see a tangible change in our way of life involving these materials.