Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable DevelopmentPublished 19 June 2012 in Sustainable Development
The high-level summit of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development begins today, 20 June. Over 190 countries will be represented at the three-day event which hopes to see governments agree to a set of shared sustainable development principles, landmarks and goals.
The high-level summit follows in the wake of a meeting of the Rio+20 “preparatory committee” which took place between 13-15 June. The “PrepCom” saw negotiators conclude their year-long discussions to pull together the text of the final declaration that government leaders will review and debate at the high-level summit. Press coverage has indicated that progress on agreeing the final declaration has been difficult.
Speaking on 6 June in New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon indicated that he expected two key outcomes from the Conference:
"First, we need to agree to define a path to an inclusive green economy that will lift people from poverty and protect the global environment. This requires international collaboration; it requires investment; it requires that countries exchange experiences and technology. Second, leaders should agree to define sustainable development goals with clear and measurable targets and indicators. These SDGs will be a central part of the post-2015 global development framework."
Although Ban Ki-Moon has heralded Rio+20 as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to make progress towards a sustainable economy, much has been made of the fact that the conference is less ambitious than the original 1992 Rio Earth Summit and will result in no legally binding treaties.
Scotland's Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson MSP, will attend the conference to highlight Scotland’s world-leading Climate Change Act and the recently-announced Scottish Climate Justice Fund.
Reuters Factbox on Rio+20.
Guardian coverage of Rio+20.
Reaction from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland on Scotland’s involvement in Rio+20.