At the World Resources Forum (WRF) in Beijing, all environmental experts agree on the fact that today we need to take actions to tackle the problem of resources scarcity. Problematic, however, is to pinpoint who should lead the change. Prof. Munashinghe, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner, gives a very pragmatic answer: “ Market share is the key element to understand where governmental policy should focus.” If the market has oligopolistic characteristics, policy actions should focus on the supply side. In an oligopsonic market, the opposite policy maker should take actions on the demand side to make the consumer aware about possible solutions path for the environmental issue. This solution is very important because it give a simple tool for policy maker to focus their strategy on the right market actors and therefore gain in efficiency.
Article is co-written by Tim Lehmann. In the face of global catastrophic climate change, emptying natural resources and worldwide scarcity, the United Nations Environmental Programme needs an upgrade, or so argued Nick Nuttall, United Nations Development Programme (UNEP) spokesperson at Rio+20 (see interview at the bottom). For too long, the environmental and social pillars of sustainable development have tip -toed along behind the economic pillar. The ambition to deliver full sustainable development is still a long way behind reality. One problem is that UNEP lacks universal membership, with only about 30 percent of UN countries involved, which seems to be inappropriate in an era in which we have acknowledged the international scope of environmental problems. Nutall argues that a stronger UNEP will increase capacity to deliver services to the world’s environmental ministers, with a resultant influence on national economic policy and international trade.
“The future we want” is the claim of the 2012 UN conference for sustainability! While all eyes keep looking forward let us risk a look back into the history of this event to get a wider understanding of what Rio+20 means. Quite obvious that the “+20” stands for twenty years after the groundbreaking UN conference in 1992. But the story goes further back in history. Publicity beats math? – the first UN world summit on sustainability
If we follow the history and the mathematical rule, the upcoming Rio+20 event in June should actually be labeled as Stockholm+40 since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) in Stockholm 1972 is considered to be the first UN conference on today’s understanding of sustainability.
Skepticism ahead of Rio+20 is rife, let’s be honest. And for good reason: We are still a long way from having even a proper definition of Green Economy, a concept which is considered the cornerstone of the conference and of sustainable development at large. Meanwhile, the European financial crisis dominates many a political mind, with environmental conferences finishing, at best, a distant second on the current political radar. Amidst all this doom and gloom, I recently had a rare chance to hear what one of the true leaders of the environmental movement had to say about all this. More specifically, I attended a small-group meeting on the 23rd of April with Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP.