The UN's Rio+10 Summit: Banking on Feelgood PR

In October 2001, captains of industry from around the world marked the tenth anniversay of the United Nation's environmental summit in Rio de Janiero by gathered in Paris for a major strategy meeting, hosted by Business Action for Sustainable Development (BASD). In response to pressure by nongovernmental organizations for binding international rules on corporate behavior, the BASD is promoting industry "voluntary action" and "self-regulation." Handpicked, isolated examples of environment and social initiatives by BASD member corporations are being trumpeted as "proof" of corporate commitment to sustainable development. According to the Corporate Europe Observer, "This piecemeal approach will be coupled with a divide-and-rule strategy: a new conciliatory tone, combined with dialogue and 'partnership' with the 'responsible' NGOs, while discrediting the critics of corporateled globalisation."