Comparisons are inevitably drawn between this year’s Rio+20 Summit and the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The 1992 Summit put the issue of sustainable development into the public spotlight and sent it soaring up the international political and business agendas. It resulted in two legally-binding global treaties – on climate change and biodiversity – and a number of other important agreements such as Agenda 21.
While the 1992 summit focused mainly on the environmental side of sustainability, this year Brazil is highlighting the environmental and social dimensions and encouraging the creation of a new set of Sustainable Development Goals. These could be a useful guide to business of the general direction in which policymakers intend to go.