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Countdown to Rio+20Development Become An Impossible Dream?

The future of the planet is at stake in Rio. Without a real and lasting solution that recalibrates our current economic thinking at a systemic level, the scale and pace of change could soon push the planet past critical thresholds and make sustainable development everywhere an impossible dream.

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The future of the planet is at stake in Rio. Without a real and lasting solution that recalibrates our current economic thinking at a systemic level, the scale and pace of change could soon push the planet past critical thresholds and make sustainable development everywhere an impossible dream. Yet with just days to go to the summit, many today are speculating about just how many world leaders will show up and what kind of agreements will be reached.

NAIROBI – With just days to go before the Rio+20 Earth Summit, many are speculating about how many world leaders will show up and what kind of agreements they might reach on the key agenda items: creating a “green economy” and establishing an “international framework for sustainable development.” It is no coincidence that these two items appear side by side.

The term “green economy” was coined years ago – even prior to the first Earth Summit in 1992 – to provide a new lens through which to examine the links between economics and sustainability. But it has gained a new impetus in a world where climate change is already a reality, commodity prices are rising, and basic resources such as clean air, arable land, and fresh water are increasingly scarce. A growing body of science, including the United Nations Environment Program’s upcoming Global Environment Outlook-5, is confirming what was glimpsed at Rio 20 years ago.

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