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More than 130 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Conference on Sustainable Development this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Commonly referred to as “Rio+20,” summit attendees will take on global environmental, social and economic challenges arising from a world population of more than seven billion. Dwindling natural resources as well as food and water scarcity concerns make a greener, more sustainable world order the key summit objective. In advance of the summit, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, Achim Steiner, explained the critical importance of international environmental commitments:
If current trends continue, if current patterns of production and consumption of natural resources prevail and cannot be reversed and decoupled, then governments will preside over unprecedented levels of damage and degradation.
According to the UNEP, the world continues to speed down an unsustainable path despite hundreds of internationally agreed upon goals to protect the planet and drastic actions and big-scale measures are needed to reverse this pattern. Rio+20 affords yet another opportunity for worldwide collaboration to meet these environmental concerns.
Partner E. Lynn Grayson addresses the summit’s history, key issues to be addressed this week, anticipated outcomes and what these developments mean for U.S. businesses in this client alert.