Thursday, June 14, 2012
“Rio+20” is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 – twenty years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. Rio+20 is also an opportunity to look ahead to the world we want in 20 years.
At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet.
The official discussions will focus on two main themes: how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty; and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.
It is a historic opportunity to define pathways to a sustainable future – a future with more jobs, more clean energy, greater security and a decent standard of living for all.
“Rio+20 will be one of the most important global meetings on sustainable development in our time.”
– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Why do we need Rio+20?
If we are to leave a liveable world to our children and grandchildren, the challenges of widespread poverty and environmental destruction need to be tackled now.
The world today has 7 billion people – by 2050, there will be 9 billion.
One out of every five people – 1.4 billion – currently lives on $1.25 a day or less.
A billion and half people in the world don’t have access to electricity.
Two and a half billion people don’t have a toilet.
Almost a billion people go hungry every day.
Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and more than a third of all known species could go extinct if climate change continues unchecked.
The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio laid the groundwork. Rio+20 is a new opportunity to think globally so that we can all act locally to secure our common future.