Rio+20 Sees Major Commitment From Business, Now it's Governments' Turn.

Rio+20 Sees Major Commitment From Business, Now it's Governments' Turn.

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Businesses are being bold at #Rio20, but what about governments? #Sustainability @Justmeans
Monday, June 25, 2012 - 1:10pm



The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is upon us. Rio+20 as it is commonly known for marking the twentieth anniversary of the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. As we welcome the first official day of summer there is some reason for optimism. This conference promises to be a bit different. Not because there is certainty that unlike previous gatherings - remember COP16? - Consensus will be reached, or commitments made. Optimism, because this conference begins with a serious call to action from the business world, backed by measurable commitments.

UN Global Compact gathering and pledge

1,400 business executives gathered for the UN Global Compact's Corporate Sustainability Forum. The Forum drew a total of over 2,700 participants to successfully craft plans to be presented as policy recommendations to heads of state at the conference. Together with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Global Compact "set criteria for time-bound, measurable commitments on which corporations are required to report annually," a release states. [1]

There was a also a special communiqué signed by 45 CEOs urging governments to establish a "fair and appropriate price" of water for agriculture, industry and people, according to a Guardian article. [2] The communiqué commits its signatories from the world's largest corporations to continue advocating for change to the way water resources are valued. In an interview with The Guardian, Gavin Power, deputy director the UN Global Compact, explains: "For companies this is enlightened self interest...Companies like certainty and in areas where there is no pricing they are very vulnerable. It could potentially push up prices in some markets but better to pay more and have certainty of supply." [3]

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Meirav Even-Har is a Justmeans staff blogger. She reports on Canadian CSR issues. Meirav is an independent sustainability consultant and writer working in Toronto, Canada.

CATEGORY: Environment