REPORT

The Unfinished Story of the Rio+20 Conference

One of Bloomberg BNA’s expert authors explore the Rio+20 conference’s failures and successes, specifically regarding the tepid official response compared with a robust mobilization of voluntary commitments for specific sustainability goals. However, there has been little attention on how the conference may set in motion a positive change in the way sustainability is addressed globally.

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By John C. Dernbach (October 5, 2012)

Reporting on the Rio+20 conference has generally followed two lines: the conference was essentially a failure because of its tepid official response to the enormous and related problems of global environmental degradation and global poverty; and the conference successfully managed to mobilize hundreds of voluntary commitments and at least $513 billion for specific sustainability goals. A third story line has received little attention, however, and may redeem the account of official failure. In this article, the author addresses that story line, reviewing a series of processes set in motion by the parties to the conference that in the next few years could substantially affect how sustainability is addressed globally.


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