Personal tools

Notifications
Get notifications on new reports and products. Frequency: 3-4 emails / month.
Subscriptions
Sign up to receive our reports (print and/or electronic) and quarterly e-newsletter.
Follow us
Twitter icon Twitter
Facebook icon Facebook
YouTube icon YouTube channel
RSS logo RSS Feeds
More

Write to us Write to us

For the public:


For media and journalists:

Contact EEA staff
Contact the web team
FAQ

Call us Call us

Reception:

Phone: (+45) 33 36 71 00
Fax: (+45) 33 36 71 99


next
previous
items

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sound and independent information
on the environment

You are here: Home / News / Rio+20 – time to rethink the way we use natural resources

Rio+20 – time to rethink the way we use natural resources

This week the Rio de Janeiro summit on sustainable development will open. Rio+20 is an opportunity to look back at changes in our environment since the first Earth Summit in 1992, and also a time to look to the future, re-evaluating the way our economies and our societies depend on the environment and natural resources.

Rio +20 gives us the opportunity to start to build an inclusive green economy, which benefits both people and the environment.

Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director

In the 20-year gap between the two Rio summits, the earth's population has grown from 5.4 billion in 1992 to more than 7 billion now – a leap of almost 30 %. This has had a knock-on effect on global use of natural resources, in tandem with increasing per capita consumption levels.

Although greenhouse gas emissions have fallen within Europe, globally they have jumped by approximately a third over 20 years, and the number of tonnes of natural resources extracted has also leapt by a third in the same period. These figures mask huge inequalities – per capita resource use and emissions are many times higher in some countries compared to others.

Many critics of the current economic model point out that it is premised on ever-increasing exploitation of natural resources, while materials and the planet's capacity to absorb waste are limited.

Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director said: "The current economic model is heading toward obsolescence. Its obsolescence is even more obvious if we want to improve living conditions and opportunities for the poorest people while we continue to demand ever more stuff in the richer parts of the world. Rio +20 gives us the opportunity to start to build an inclusive green economy, which benefits both people and the environment."

In Rio, heads of state will discuss global targets for sustainability indicators, to help move towards a green economy. It is also hoped that the conference will be the starting point for new cooperation between states, the private sector, international organisations and civil society.

On Sunday 17 June, the EEA presented a new film, 'Planet RE:think', which tells the story of unsustainable resource use. The documentary shows the truly global nature of the problem, from environmentally devastating mining in Canada to recycling of electronic waste in India which damages the health of workers. The feature-length film also includes positive examples of ‘green economy' policies and business models, from Ecuador to South Africa.

You can see the first edit of this exciting project below:

Geographical coverage

[+] Show Map

Document Actions
Sign up now!
Get notifications on new reports and products. Currently we have 32884 subscribers. Frequency: 3-4 emails / month.
Notifications archive
Follow us
 
 
 
 
 
Archive
Upcoming Events
Quick Event Sustainable Brands Rio 24 Apr 2014 - 25 Apr 2014 — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Quick Event European Algae Biomass 2014 06 May 2014 - 07 May 2014 — Andalusia, Spain
Quick Event International conference on Environmental Footprinting in the food & drink sector and beyond 06 May 2014 - 07 May 2014 — Berlin, Germany
Quick Event Climate Ride California 2014 17 May 2014 - 20 May 2014 — California, USA
Quick Event Sustainable Brands Istanbul 21 May 2014 - 22 May 2014 — Istanbul, Turkey
Upcoming events…
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100