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You are here: Home / News / Greening the economy – preparing for a new Earth Summit in Rio

Greening the economy – preparing for a new Earth Summit in Rio

European Environment Agency (EEA) Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade will be in New York this week, working towards a historic environmental summit next year.
Development through sustainable agriculture

Development through sustainable agriculture  Image © EEA/John McConnico

In order to reach the sustainable development goals and solve environmental problems, we must address environmental impact from both the production and consumption side, and further strengthen environmental considerations in economic and sectoral policy.

Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA

Inspiring sustainable development

In 1992, the landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro proposed a new form of environmental governance, building breakthrough environmental agreements on climate change and biodiversity.

This week the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) meets at UN Headquarters in New York, and EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade will be there to help set the agenda for next year's 'Rio+20 summit', which aims to assess progress and look to the future with new themes of the green economy and environmental governance.

The Sustainable Development Commission aims to "inspire governments, economies and society to embrace sustainable development as the central principal."  It was established in 1992 and is charged with implementing recommendations agreed at the 1992 Summit.

Sustainable consumption in a green economy

The EEA and its Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production co-hosted an expert seminar on sustainable consumption in a green economy with the Nordic Council of Ministers, which gathered a large number of policy makers and other stakeholders attending the CSD. EEA executive director, Jacqueline McGlade made a keynote speech on pathways to sustainable consumption and chaired a panel debate with high-level policy makers.

The seminar focused on the consumption perspective in a green economy, with a view at experiences from Europe and other regions of the world and panel discussions of how to promote sustainable consumption patterns and sustainable lifestyles globally that stimulate a greening of the economy.

'In order to reach the sustainable development goals and solve environmental problems, we must address environmental impact from both the production and consumption side, and further strengthen environmental considerations in economic and sectoral policy,' Prof. McGlade said at the event.

Sustainable production

Prof. McGlade will also participate in a key side event, 'Sustainable Consumption and Production – the building blocks for a Greener Economy'.

The objective of the side-event is to look forward to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012 and discuss the linkages between sustainable consumption and production and policy instruments and practices for building a green economy within the framework of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Teenagers, Facebook and the environment

The EEA is also using new communication tools. Prof. McGlade will present the newly launched EEA Facebook page at the Marymount Middle and Upper Schools in New York, and will speak with students about the environment and sustainable development. The event will include interviews and discussions with the school’s newspaper and environment club.

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