"Environmentalists Urge Obama To Attend Rio Earth Summit"

"The leaders of nearly two dozen environmental groups called on President Obama to attend next month’s Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, underscoring the uncertainty that continues to cloud the historic meeting."

"More than 130 presidents, prime ministers and other heads of state have committed to attend the conference from June 20 to 22, which is also known as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. But many experts question whether the session -- coming 20 years after a U.N. summit in Rio that concluded with three global environmental treaties -- will produce a meaningful outcome. And the White House has not said whether Obama will travel there.

Occupied with the European financial crisis, leaders such as Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain’s prime minister David Cameron have opted out of attending the summit. But several significant world leaders, such as Russian president Vladi­mir Putin, will come to Rio.

Johan Schaar, co-director of the World Resources Institute’s vulnerability and adaptation initiative, said that under a best-case scenario Rio would foster a discussion on how countries could grow economically without harming the environment."

Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post May 21, 2012.

Source: Wash Post, 05/23/2012