Authors: Suan Ee Ong, Rômulo S. R. Sampaio, Andrei Marcu, and Agathe Maupin and Elizabeth Sidiropoulos
Although this year's Rio+20 conference produced only vague goals and few concrete commitments, it provided a major opportunity to shift the global environmental focus to the national and local levels, says this Expert Roundup.
Forty years ago, the Club of Rome produced a best-selling report warning humanity that its escalating wants were on a collision course with the world's finite resources and that the only way to avoid a crash was to stop chasing economic growth. The predictions proved spectacularly wrong. But the environmental alarmism they engendered persists, making it harder for policymakers to respond rationally to real problems today.
Emerging economies taking advantage of mineral and petroleum wealth often face corruption and conflict rather than benefit from sustainable development. This resource curse can be obviated, CFR Fellow Terra Lawson-Remer argues, if capital-exporting countries, banks, and corporations insist on transparency.
Current global population growth rates and consumption patterns are not environmentally sustainable. Integrated population and environment approaches would allow governments to effectively address these at both a macro and micro level.
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted on October 29, 2010.
A possible transfer of political power in the congressional midterm elections could doom short-term chances for a comprehensive climate bill. But experts say climate issues could still be addressed through bills focused on clean energy.
This in-depth study of twelve producer, processing and consumer countries demonstrates that actions taken by governments, civil society and the private sector over the last ten years in response to illegal logging and related trade have been extensive and had a considerable impact.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.