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.
Environment Matters, the annual review on the environment by the World Bank Group, usually highlights the environmental research, accomplishments, and challenges of the Bank’s regions in the past year.
The Earth Summit was a historical opportunity to set the world on the correct development trajectory. Negotiators from 191 countries came together to chart a road map for sustainable development and poverty eradication. The theme was green economy. But developed and developing countries refused to bury their differences. Developed countries were not ready to let go of their extravagant lifestyle, while developing countries were expected to take on green commitments. The countries could not even reach a consensus on the definition of green economy.
The significance of Rio + 20 does not lie in any document but in the new direction provided to global governance, whose focus should be on patterns of natural resource use, and not just on natural capital, to ensure human well being.