Rio+20 summit starts today with a call to ‘seize the moment’
20 June 2012
The Rio+20 summit starts today in Rio de Janeiro, twenty years after the Earth Summit in the same Brazilian city.
The UN’s global summit, which will be attended by more than 100 world leaders, has the grand ambition of putting global society on a more sustainable path. It focuses on developing greener economies, increasing sustainability and alleviating poverty whilst preserving the environment.
A panel of experts, including Nobel laureates and politicians, are calling on leaders at the summit to “seize the moment”. They concluded that “business as usual is not an option.”
I remember learning about the 1992 Earth summit in primary school, and I’m sure many of you will remember where you learnt about it too. But today’s Eco-Schools committees weren’t even born then. Since the last summit the Earth’s population has increased by 22% and our consumption of resources has also increased.
The themes of the summit, including energy, water, transport and sustainable development to name just a few, link with Eco-Schools topics. The summit may be a great start to looking at global perspectives, or to link your Eco-Schools work to the bigger, global picture.
Many feel Rio+20 isn’t going far enough, that it could achieve more, the targets could be stronger and the incentives could be more tangible. Whilst this may be a lively debate in the media, it’s sure to be an even livelier debate within Eco-schools and Eco-committees. After all, today’s children have the most to gain from the sustainable, greener choices we make now, and they may be the ones attending a Rio summit in another 20 years.
So whatever you may choose to do next in your Eco-School, why not use Rio+20 as your chance to seize the moment.
Find out more about the summit, including comprehensive issue briefs.