At risk of a Rio carnival

New divisions in geopolitics are putting sustainable growth and the push toward a clean economy at risk – and Rio 20 might end up having nothing to show for itself.

The shifting sands of geopolitics, marked by rapid growth of big, emerging economies such as Brazil and China while traditionally rich countries fall behind, could undermine progress to define sustainable development goals at a United Nations conference next month.

New divisions between old allies are adding to familiar disputes over finance and responsibility as preparatory talks in New York last week failed to find consensus, causing the United Nations to add an extra round of talks later this month.

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