* Text fails to define 'sustainable development goals'
* Environmentalists criticize text, urge action on climate
* Big city mayors craft green strategy of their own
By Nina Chestney and Valerie Volcovici
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 19 Diplomats from over 190
countries agreed on a draft text on green global development on
Tuesday to be approved this week at a summit in Rio de Janeiro,
but environmentalists said the agreement was too weak.
The summit, known as Rio+20 because it comes 20 years after
the first Rio environmental summit, is aimed at providing
clarity on proposed "sustainable development goals," a loose
tripod of economic, environmental and social objectives that
proponents believe could help guide global development.
But the text agreed to by diplomats early on Tuesday failed
to define those goals, promising only more rounds of talks to
clarify them in the near future. They did specify exactly when.
It is "telling that nobody in that room adopting the text
was happy. That's how weak it is," the European Union's climate
commissioner Connie Hedegaard said on social network Twitter.
The text "has too much 'take note' and 'reaffirm' and too
little 'decide' and 'commit'. (The) big task now for U.N.
nations to follow up" on this, she added.
Expectations were low for the summit because politicians'
attention is more focused on the euro zone crisis, a
presidential election in the United States and turmoil in the
Middle East than on the environment.
The first Rio Earth summit in 1992 paved the way to a global
treaty on biodiversity, and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on
greenhouse gases, which is due to expire this year.
Heads of state including Russian President Vladimir Putin
and French President Francois Hollande, and U.S. Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton will meet with diplomats representing
other nations from Wednesday for three days to discuss the text
and possibly make some changes to its wording.
Observers do not expect major amendments.
Environmental groups criticized the text, saying it omitted
or watered down important proposals and challenged heads of
state to act urgently to respond to climate change.
"This summit could be over before it's started. World
leaders arriving tonight must start afresh. Rio+20 should be a
turning point," said Oxfam spokesman Stephen Hale.
"There's no sign of that here. Almost a billion hungry
people deserve better."
Others were slightly more optimistic.
"The outcome document does not have the ambition needed to
save the planet or the poor but it has not taken us backwards,
particularly given our initial fears that Rio+20 might be
Rio-40," representing a retreat from current initiatives, said
Meena Raman of the Third World Network NGO.
Separately, in a meeting of big-city mayors at an old
fortress in Rio, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and
colleagues from around the world sought to show how cities, can
make progress even if a multi-national agreement isn't possible.
Cities are responsible for up to three-quarters of global
Measures already underway in major cities, the mayors said,
are on track to reduce their combined emission of greenhouse
gases by 248 million tons by 2020, an amount equal to the
current annual emissions of Mexico and Canada together.
The measures, the mayors said, include everything from
better waste management to more efficient lighting, and would
include biofuel and electric-powered municipal transport.
Noting the sluggish pace of the multi-national negotiations,
Bloomberg said cities "aren't arguing with each other. We're
going out there and making progress."
As chairman of the C40, as the mayors group is known,
Bloomberg led the day-long discussions and toured a local slum
with Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes.
(Additional reporting by Paulo Prada; editing by Todd Eastham)