The Rio+20 Earth Summit
Speeding up the transition to a sustainable future at the Rio+20 Earth Summit
In June 2012, more than 150 presidents and prime ministers and thousands of other top leaders are expected to come to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. The gathering will mark the 20th anniversary of the first historic Rio Earth Summit where governments pledged to take actions to protect the planet while addressing poverty and equity. Yet a generation later, the pressures on the planet continue to grow as do human numbers and needs.
The UN Secretary General has warned that we are running out of time. We do not need any more ineffective treaties and abstract plans of action. The NRDC has challenged the UN instead to make the Rio+20 Earth Summit different, indeed transformative. We want our leaders to come to ready to take action to speed the transition to a low-carbon green economy.
You can join NRDC in the Race-to-Rio as preparations for the June gathering become even more intense. Explore here and check back frequently for updates on how we can work together to assure that Rio+20 Earth Summit marks a real start towards a world we are proud to pass along to the next generation.
NRDC's Priorities: What We're Advocating for at the Earth Summit
Countries, corporations and communities must come to Rio to promise specific actions now to meet sustainability goals. The UN should deploy state-of-the-art information technology to enable citizens worldwide to ensure these promises are kept. We see these actions recorded on a "cloud of commitments as the major output of Rio+20.
Click here to view a mockup of a proposed web-based Global Registry that NRDC presented at the UN.
Perverse subsidies, short-sighted investments and weak policies are driving global warming, putting toxics in our air and water, and locking the world into an unsustainable path. It's time for governments to wake up, and:
- Phase out regressive and environmentally-harmful fossil fuel subsidies, such as those to the oil and gas industry.
- Scale up renewable electricity.
- Deploy energy efficiency, such as phasing out inefficient light-bulbs.
- Phase down HFCs (a "super greenhouse gas").
Reducing pollution, increasing efficiency and deploying clean energy can be valuable job creators, especially for the next generation of workers. At the Rio+20 Earth Summit, governments and corporations must:
- Integrate environmental costs into national and corporate accounts.
- Increase support for environmentally sustainable jobs training and education programs.
Click here to learn about NRDC's overarching priorities for the Earth Summit.
Get Involved in Rio+20
In order to put us on a more sustainable path, we need action from every country.
- Visit Earth Summit Watch 2012 to find out if your leader is attending and about other preparations in your country.
- Urge World Leaders to Make Rio+20 a Top Priority
- U.S. citizens: Tell President Obama to Act Now
Record a video speech to Win a Date With History
Recent Blog Posts from NRDC Experts
- Negotiation Myopia Misses Groundswell of Climate Action
- posted by Brendan Guy, 12/2/13
- Bold Climate Action Continues, Even After Talks Fizzle in Warsaw
- posted by Frances Beinecke, 11/26/13
- Cities are Key to a New Architecture for a Livable World
- posted by Jacob Scherr, 11/14/13
- NRDC "Rio+20 to 2015" Conference: Starting to design a new global architecture for action
- posted by John Romano, 11/5/13
- Fulfilling the Rio+20 Promises: Reviewing Progress since the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
- posted by John Romano, 10/2/13
- "Voluntary Commitments" and "Action Networks": Part of a New Architecture for a New World
- posted by John Romano, 7/23/13
- Partnership on Sustainable Transport releases progress report amidst Brazilian transit protests
- posted by John Romano, 7/10/13
- Leaders send a message to the United Nations: "Think Globally, Act Locally"
- posted by Jacob Scherr, 6/24/13
- One Year After Rio+20: Are We On the Path to the "Future We Want"?
- posted by John Romano, 6/21/13
Director, Global Strategy & Advocacy
International Climate Policy Director
Director, International Oceans Program
US-China Climate Policy Coordinator
Staff Attorney, India Initiative
Staff Attorney, Oceans Program
Latin America Advocate
Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter
- Toxic Trade: The Global Metallic Mercury Market
- It will take an international solution to curb the world's mercury pollution problem -- and the United States should lead the way.
- China's Budding Environmental Movement
- Attorney Alex Wang talks about what it's like to be in on the ground level of a new environmental movement.
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.