The results of the Johannesburg summit inspire nothing but utter disillusionment. Politicians’ pompous speeches proved to be void of any substance or commitments, as the final action plan was nothing more than a declaration of compromises. The plan failed to secure clean energy, it «promised» access to water and hygienic conditions without protecting water sources, it ignored the needs of the poor and the environment in order to give unlimited support to the deregulation of trade. This was despite the efforts of non-governmental organizations, whose vision of a better future was lost amid the momentum of the talks. On the other hand, we should draw attention to the Greek delegation’s positive stand on a number of crucial issues. But what are they going to do now, back at home? Does the «national plan for sustainable development» recently submitted to the Cabinet mean a real change of direction or will that also remain a paper exercise? We shall see. What is certain is that both globally and nationally, only when the demand for environmental protection becomes a mass movement by civil societies can there be any progress. The only solution I can see from now on is the involvement of ordinary people in putting pressure on their own governments.

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