The sustainable transition. Overcoming the crises from Rio to Rio and beyond

Credits: Flickr CC, stef thomas

Over the past few years the greatest preoccupation in Europe – including Italy – and in many countries in the world was to find a way to respond to the financial and economic crisis that hit in 2008.
Small wonder that the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 2012 – also called Rio+20 – has not been uppermost in the minds of some political leaders, captains of industry and the public as a whole.
I would like to argue that a transformational outcome in Rio in June — two decades after the Earth Summit that set the course and laid the foundations for sustainable development —has the potential to counter a suite of persistent, evolving and emerging crises compared to which the current one may appear harmless.
I also think that a transformational outcome in Rio may help a global audience to believe that those who muare responsible for managing a planet of now seven billion people have got solutions and the resolve of leadership not only to deliver economic progress, but social and environmental progress too.
For I would contend that today we have a crisis of confidence and a crisis of long-term vision as much as a crisis of the banking sector or the financial markets. Plus we struggle to make the economic models inherited from the past operate in the world we live today, which is very different under the geopolitical, economical and environmental point of view.

Continue to read the Achim Steiner lecture on Climate Science & Policy the magazine edited by CMCC
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Photo Credits: CC by stef thomas at Flickr

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