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First World lifestyles must change, European bishops' leader tells Rio +20 conference

June 20, 2012

In a statement to the UN’s “Rio +20” conference on sustainable development, the president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union (COMECE) called for major changes in the lifestyle of affluent countries.

“Our energy over-consuming life-style in combination with the necessity to reduce CO2-emissions from fossil fuels is a threat to the food security of developing countries,” said Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich. Noting that the developed nations consume most of the world’s fossil fuels, he said that sustainable development—the topic of the Rio + 20 meeting—would “not only include changes in production but also changes in consumption.”

Cardinal Marx called particular attention to the use of farmlands to produce “fuel crops” for the development world. He noted that the emphasis on biofuels is partially responsible for the rise in food prices, and thus aggravates the problem of hunger.


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  • Posted by: FredC - Jun. 22, 2012 3:31 PM ET USA

    Replacing all taxes with a consumption tax would do much to reduce consumption and its impact on the environment. The FairTax is a consumption tax.