Forget “climate change” and grand master plans. Focus on “sustainability” and accountability.
Twenty years after world leaders met for the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero, the global plans envisioned to limit human damage to the environment have not materialized, but sustainability initiatives are making a difference, experts told Environmental Law Institute (ELI) teleconference this week.
That’s putting “sustainability” front and center in the next two weeks as leaders, and tens of thousands of activists, once again gather in Rio for “Rio + 20,” a follow-up to the 1992 conference that formed the foundation for global environmental action including biodiversity and climate change treaties.
The partisan political schism in the US over climate change is primarily focused on environmental regulation, said John Dernbach, Co-Director of the Widener University School of Law’s Environmental Law Center.
Sustainability avoids that divide because it is explicitly about making job growth, economic development, and the environment all work together for a “higher quality of life,’ he said.
Sustainability “is primarily bottom-up,” led by popular and customer demand for more environmentally viable ways for doing things, said Dernbach.