Rio+20 must seek a way to save our planet
Posted Monday, June 18 2012 at 18:57
President Kibaki will be representing Kenya at the UN conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro.
It is an opportunity for the world to agree on the steps to move the globe towards inclusive green growth.
Admittedly, not much progress has been achieved since the last conference in Rio in 1992. But the good news is that international consensus has now emerged that sustainable development is not just a fad but the key thing in the fight against poverty.
We applaud the fact that the private sector has taken a very high profile in the negotiations and consultations in the run-up to Rio+20.
Many companies worldwide are considering including sustainability as a key indicator in a new reporting system. Major accounting and audit firms are also thinking along these lines.
Ahead of the meeting, the European Union had sent notice that it will press for a green economy roadmap.
It also indicated it would support the goals proposed by Colombia and Guatemala came as a broader package including the much vaunted Millennium Developments Goals.
The world, indeed, faces serious challenges. Our climate, ecosystems and biodiversity are under threat. Our consumption patterns are putting Planet Earth under more strain than it can bear.
Indeed, it is estimated that 925 million people go hungry every day. By 2050, nine billion people will be living on earth, for whom a 70 per cent increase in food production is needed.
Yet available farmland will only increase by 15 per cent. To tackle these problems, Rio+20 must come up with concrete agreements on food, water, and energy.
It must tackle environmentally sound technology, urbanisation, jobs and disaster risk reduction.