Earth Brokers

Earth Brokers The Earth Brokers Power, Politics and World Development was published by Routledge Press in 1994. Written by Pratap Chatterjee and Matthias Finger, it is a critique of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development or Earth Summit (as the conference is popularly called) that took place in Rio de Janiero in 1992.

Summary: The Earth Summit was billed as a dramatic new approach to solving the Planet’s problems, but it was flawed in both conception and execution. As a result, the new order emerging since the Rio de Janeiro conference is identical to the old one. This book offers a critical review of the entire United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) process, looking at its origin, context, and the major agents involved, as well as its outcomes.

“Those of us who have watched the process have said that the Earth Summit has failed … Multinational corporations, the United States, Japan, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund have got away with what they always wanted … the Summit has ensured increased domination by those who already have power. Worse still, it has robbed the poor of the little power they had. It has made them victims of a market economy that has thus far threatened our planet … few negotiators realised how critical their decisions are to our generation. By failing to address such fundamental issues as militarism, the regulation of transnational corporations, the democratisation of international aid agencies and the inequitable terms of trade, my generation has been damned.”

Wagaki Mwangi, Kenya, Youth delegate to the Earth Summit

“Pratap Chatterjee and Matthias Finger convincingly argue that the Earth Summit should not be forgotten or ignored, dismissed as a lost opportunity or as nothing more than a grand spectacle. Their central claim in The Earth Brokers is that the Earth Summit marked a major achievement for big business. It consolidated multinational corporations’ role as purported agents of ecological change and promoted, rather than challenged, current unsustainable patterns of development in both the industrialized North and the poor South.”

Robert Weissman, Multinational Monitor review

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