The Earth Summit was a historical opportunity to set the world on the correct development trajectory. Negotiators from 191 countries came together to chart a road map for sustainable development and poverty eradication. The theme was green economy. But developed and developing countries refused to bury their differences. Developed countries were not ready to let go of their extravagant lifestyle, while developing countries were expected to take on green commitments. The countries could not even reach a consensus on the definition of green economy.

After using gross domestic product, or GDP, as the universal measurement of economy for six decades, the world has begun looking beyond this gold standard for measuring a country’s economy.

Weight loss is no more a simple calculation of calories consumed and burnt. Studies show exposure to certain toxins in the environment can make it difficult for one to shed extra pounds. What are these toxins? How do they affect body?

In yet another blow to the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster, a US district court has dismissed a plea seeking to make Union Carbide liable for contamination caused by its pesticide plant in Bhopal. Seventeen survivors of the 1984 gas leak tragedy had filed a case against the corporation in 1999 in the US district court in Manhattan.

Farmers accuse power company of registering bogus speakers, question timing of public hearing with sowing season. The fresh public hearing for Lanco Infratech Limited’s 1,320 MW coal-fired power plant in Mandwa village of Maharashtra’s Wardha district was marked by utter chaos.The hearing, held under heavy police bandobast, started with drama. The first 50 speakers–residents of affected villages, Mandwa, Belgaon and Pullali—praised Lanco for its corporate social responsibility. They also expressed their support for the upcoming plant.

Trust deficit between rich and poor nations, a legacy of failed climate negotiations, has led to paralysis of ambition. The distance between Flamengo Park and Rio Centro is as huge as the difference in thinking and expectations between civil society groups and governments. Flamengo Park is where the Peoples’ Summit is being held and Rio Centro is where the official negotiations on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is taking place.

A chat and books persuade parents in Shravasti to not marry off young girls.

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Will negotiating parties be able to sort out their differences at Doha?
At the most recent UN meeting on climate change at Bonn, deep divisions that have existed between countries came to the fore, obscuring progress on the “delicately balanced” political deal that was agreed to just five months ago in December at Durban. As 195 countries gathered for the first time after the very important turnaround in Durban to negotiate a new deal for 2020, questions of how the burden of containing climate change will be shared resurfaced.

But a workshop on equity at the climate inter-sessional refused to move beyond well-embedded party demarcations. It was India, which at last year’s climate negotiations at Durban had insisted on bringing the principle of equity back into the agenda for tackling climate change. The concept, which not so long ago had almost fallen off the climate agenda now features in almost everyone’s negotiation agenda at the mid-year climate change meeting at Bonn.

Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has rejected the food ministry’s suggestion that 25 per cent of wages under the rural employment guarantee programme be paid in foodgrains. Food minister K V Thomas had written to Ramesh early April, suggesting that part of the wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) be paid in kind.