A sustainable transition. Overcoming the crises from Rio to Rio and beyond
Submitted on 18/04/2012 by Laurent Lambert, Oxford University Centre for the Environment,
Europaeum Research Director for 2012 Prague Workshop and for 2010 Paris Workshop
Executive Director at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner was asked to deliver the Aurelio Peccei Lecture in Rome, 30 March 2012. the full version of the lecture “Learning to Live on Only One Planet—Towards the UN Summit in Rio” is available there, on the website Climate Science&Policy.
In substance, Achim Steiner argued that Rio+20 needs to be more than just economics and has to cope with fundamental barriers. A suite of persistent, evolving and emerging crises is becoming real and is going to affect our lives in the long term. To deal with subsidies is good in the short period but is not enough and we should focus on critical sectors of the economy such as human and natural capital, said Steiner. Starting from a question that was raised twenty years ago: did the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 fail? It did not; for Achim Steiner, it rather laid the foundations upon which a new generation of leaders must build something.