Clegg's Rio+20 water pledge

The government says households struggling to pay their water bills will get help through new 'social tariffs'. The announcement will be made by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil today.

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Clegg: 'much-needed help to millions struggling to pay their water bill'

We're clearing the way for water companies to give some much-needed help to the millions of people who struggle to pay their water bills. If you're struggling to make ends meet, not paying for essential utilities isn't an option but it can mean making tough choices elsewhere, like sacrificing healthy meals for the family or new school books.

We've already announced tough new measures to see gas and electric bills fall by up to £100 a year. This will see struggling families save more. Water companies can now begin to consult their customers on how to ensure the most vulnerable households receive extra support.



Green economy 'essential to manage natural resources'

We believe that promoting the right kind of growth that is inclusive and environment friendly is the most effective pathway to achieve sustainable development. For this reason, I warmly welcome that conference as knowledge that a green economy will enhance our ability to manage natural resources sustainably and with lower environmental impacts and also with increased resource efficiency.



Action on environment 'cannot be postponed by financial crisis'

We will set up, alongside the states that wish to, Europeans and others, a tax on financial transactions. And I pledge that if that tax is created, part of this revenue will go to development... Some tell us that there is the economic crisis, the financial crisis, therefore the environmental issues and sustainable development can be postponed, put aside until the pressure (on the economy) stops. That is not my line of reasoning.

– Francois Hollande, French President

Naked protest shuts part of Rio during Earth summit

An environmental protest involving 50,000 people - some of them naked - has shut part of downtown Rio during the Rio+20 Earth summit.

Activists in Rio during the mass protest Credit: Press Association

The march was calling for better living conditions and greener government policies. In the midst of it all an intrepid group took their clothes off and painted their bodies with various slogans.

Widespread disappointment at 'weak' Rio+20 text

The text of the agreement that is likely to define the Rio+20 summit has been described as "weak" by many of those in attendance. The EU's climate change chief Connie Hedegaard tweeted that "nobody ... was happy" about the text:

The charity Oxfam likened the outcomes of the summit to "re-arranging the deck chairs" while the Titanic sinks, echoing the verdict of many NGOs.

The head of the UNFCCC - the UN convention that was agreed at the last Earth Summit in Rio 20 years ago - was disappointed that the text did not mention ending subsidies on fossil fuels.

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