This June, there will be a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. Also going by the names of “Rio+20” and “Earth Summit 2012”, this will undoubtedly be a great milestone, an example of history unfolding around us as we speak. We can only hope it will have a more impressive outcome than the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference… I am remaining optimistic as times are moving fast and we have come a long way in the last couple of years after all.
The objectives of the Summit are as follows:
Securing Political Commitment to Sustainable Development
Assessing Progress Towards Internationally Agreed Commitments
- (Identifying?*) New and Emerging Challenges
And the themes are:
- Green Economy in the context of Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development
- Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development
* On the website it doesn’t include the word ‘identifying’… But ‘New and Emerging Challenges’ isn’t actually an objective and this was my best bet as to what they meant.
I absolutely recommend having a look at the Earth Summit 2012 website. It’s by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, who are heavily involved in the organisation and facilitation of the conference . Also here’s the link to the official website of Rio+20. I’ve been reading about the Summit for the last few days and am really excited about the possibilities arising from this. I mean, of course governments don’t have to agree to things, and in many cases they won’t want to. But at least they’re being given the opportunity. The ground is being prepared, and the seeds planted.
I also think the fact that this Summit deals with the ‘Green Economy’ could inspire more action than a focus purely on reducing carbon emissions. Attention is being given to the three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic. Environmentalists are often bashing governmental bodies for only caring about finance and disregarding the natural world. Social equality advocates are quick to point out that human suffering is also disgustingly widespread and that the capitalist-consumer culture that is trashing the planet does not even benefit most people. Perhaps conceding that, yes, economics does deserve a place on our agenda as well, will encourage said governments to be more reasonable. Perhaps it is really time to give economics a shake up. Business wields great power in our world, so rather than attempting to squash it we should be innovative and harness that power. Perhaps corporations working towards profit at all costs is outdated – and perhaps corporations making a profit while (or oh my god, even BY?) having a positive effect on surrounding communities and ecosystems is possible.
So as you can see, I’m very interested on what this Green Economy could be like, and I’ll write a post specifically looking at that soon. For now I’ll just add that the Global Transition 2012 website is also well worth a click. They’re an international network of leading thinkers, movers and shakers who advocate a global transition towards a sustainable future, focusing on Rio+20 and beyond. They have been publishing some very interesting discussion papers on issues such as the Green Economy as mentioned above.
So have a look and inform yourself! As an Earth Baby, this most definitely concerns you.