World Leaders Pledge $513 Billion To Sustainable Development

By Newsroom America Staff at 22 Jun 2012

(Newsroom America) -- Some $513 billion in funding has been committed by governments, the private sector, civil society and other groups to achieve a sustainable future at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

Of the funds committed, $323 billion will be devoted to the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which seeks to achieve universal access to sustainable energy by 2030.

A wide range of actions have also been pledged during Rio+20. These include planting 100 million trees, empowering 5,000 women entrepreneurs in green economy businesses in Africa, and recycling 800,000 tons of polyvinyl chloride (commonly known as PVC) – one of the most widely used plastics – per year.

Some 40,000 people – including Heads of State and government, representatives from non-governmental organizations and the private sector – have been in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the past three days, attending Rio+20, and seeking to help shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.

A key element on the Conference was its outcome document, entitled “The Future We Want” and agreed on by Member States.

The outcome document calls for a wide range of actions, such as beginning the process to establish sustainable development goals; detailing how the green economy can be used as a tool to achieve sustainable development; strengthening the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); promoting corporate sustainability reporting measures; taking steps to go beyond gross domestic product to assess the well-being of a country; developing a strategy for sustainable development financing; and, adopting a framework for tackling sustainable consumption and production.

The document also focuses on improving gender equity; recognizing the importance of voluntary commitments on sustainable development; and stressing the need to engage civil society and incorporate science into policy; among other points.

Over 50 million people from all over the world have taken part in Rio+20 through social media platforms, voicing comments, opinions and ideas, making it a key component in establishing a global conversation on sustainability issues both in the lead-up to and during the Conference.

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