Credit: Ellie Johnston
As those of us who attended the Rio+20 Earth Summit get back into the daily grind, and those who weren’t in Rio have already forgotten it ever happened, we begin to realize the mistakes that were made and the lessons we can learn.
As a young person who will live with the results of Rio+20 for years to come, it is already feeling like a missed opportunity for something much better. The slogan that was bandied about, plastered onto the wall of the conference center, and put at the top of the final “outcome document” was “the future we want,” but the “we” clearly didn’t refer to the young people who were at the summit, or the many who didn’t even consider going.
Credit: Ellie Johnston
While the negotiations for Rio+20 progressed, Drew and Travis of Climate Interactive were sharing analysis and facilitating a group that is exploring pathways to break through the climate impasse at the Rio Climate Challenge. This event, part conference, part workshop, went beyond a typical conference speaker series with hundreds of audience members listening to experts who drop in for their part and then scoot off to the next thing. The Rio Climate Challenge included a plenary hall where audience members hear from leaders in different areas of climate, like from Yvo de Boer, the former secretariat of the UN climate change negotiations. The unique part of this event was that speakers when not on stage are working together in a small group to develop a set of recommendations for the climate change negotiations and Rio+20. Continue reading
Tasso Azevedo uses the C-Learn simulation in Rio. Note Yvo de Boer, Alfredo Sirkis, and David Jhirad in the background.
Drew Jones, Travis Franck, and I will be in Rio de Janeiro in June to share Climate Interactive’s tools on climate and energy. There, at the Rio+20 conference and parallel events, we will join thousands in imagining the pathways to overcome the challenges facing humanity on our finite planet. We are seeking opportunities to share our simulations—particularly C-ROADS and En-ROADS—to support others in making the best choices for sustainability.
The Rio+20 Conference marks the twentieth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, an event, which heralded in a set of new treaties to address our ecological challenges from climate change to biodiversity. While not so much a celebration of the anniversary of the first Rio Earth Summit—whose ambitious goals we have yet to achieve—Rio+20 will be casting an eye to the future. How do we create the future we want, a future where we live within the limits of our planet?
The tools that we have developed at Climate Interactive can help give this global conversation context. By looking at our global climate and energy challenges our simulations provide people the opportunity to explore the ways we can get to a world powered by low and zero carbon energy sources and where our business as usual trajectory does not lead to runaway climate change. We want to share our tools with your groups that are making a difference in this space. Connect with us if you’ll be in Rio in the coming weeks and let us know what you will do there.
Ellie (center) speaks with Jonathan Pershing of the US State Department at the COP17 climate change negotiations
Faithful readers of this blog will notice that many of the latest posts have been authored by Ellie Johnston, Climate Interactive’s intern. Ellie’s passion for a sustainable future has her working hard not just at Climate Interactive, but also within networks of youth leaders on climate change and global sustainability. We thought that a recent article Ellie wrote about the role of global youth in the Rio +20 Summit next month would be of interest to many readers of this blog. Our last post was about some of what Climate Interactive is planning for the Earth Summit. Ellie’s article, below, paints a broader picture of this important event and suggests key avenues for participation and influence.
Next month, the United Nations will hold a mega-conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — the Earth Summit, aka Rio+20. In addition to being an international Who’s Who of over 130 heads of state and leaders in sustainable development, it will also be a chance for young people to assert the urgency of the challenges we face and seize the opportunities presented to our generation to address them. Continue reading
Alfredo Sirkis at RCC opening planning ceremony (credit: Tarsio Alves)
Travis Franck, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst here at Climate Interactive, recently returned from Recife, Brazil, where he worked with Brazilian congressional representatives and international leaders in climate policy to shape what will be Brazil’s crowning climate change event around the Rio+20 Earth Summit this June. The Rio Climate Challenge aims to demonstrate that it is possible to have an international agreement that can keep CO2 concentrations under 450ppm. Climate Interactive has been showing to people (with our C-ROADS simulation) what global action would be required to put the world on a 2C-Pathway, and we are excited that others are committed to continuing to bring this message to political leaders.
The Rio Climate Challenge (RCC) is being convened by the Brazilian congress. It will be an additional event during the Rio+20 conference focused on a climate change, which is not included in the main UN meeting. Continue reading
“Measures should be taken to strengthen the interface between policymaking and science in order to facilitate informed political decision-making on sustainable development issues.”
UN Photo/Mark Garten
So reads one of the policy recommendations from the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability. The panel includes 22 international leaders many of whom are scientists or current or former heads of state such as, Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian prime minister, and Kevin Rudd, Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Prime Minister of Australia. The report, which comes on the heels of an early round of negotiations for the Rio+20 conference, offers a vision for the future “to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and make growth inclusive, and production and consumption more sustainable, while combating climate change and respecting a range of other planetary boundaries.” To realize this vision they have laid out fifty-six recommendations for the global community to take up, on topics ranging from pricing the true cost of natural resources to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. And number 44 on the list is the recommendation quoted above: bridging the gap between science and policy-making.
This recommendation hits the core of Continue reading