Roads from Rio +20

Pathways to achieve global sustainability goals by 2050

Identifying the problem

In 1992, in the Rio declaration, the world agreed to strive for sustainable development, including the ambition to eradicate poverty and to protect the world's ecosystems.
The principles of the conference were translated into several documents, including the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21 and Conventions on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Desertification. These documents have been accepted by nearly all countries, worldwide.

Progress has been made in some areas, but overall the realisation of goals and targets is lagging behind, as is evident from persistent poverty and continued environmental degradation. In some areas related to poverty, progress has been made. For key areas related to hunger, biodiversity, climate, access to modern energy, and air pollution, policies have not led to a reversal of historical, unsustainable trends.

Theoretically, it is possible to design pathways along which development and environmental objectives can be achieved. In the report Roads from Rio+20 and on this application, we show the necessary level of effort and possible pathways along which the goals may be achieved, as well as the synergies and trade-offs for two clusters: 1) food, land and biodiversity, and 2) energy, air pollution and climate change. Furthermore, directions for policy-making are presented.

Above all, it is important that a consistent vision is developed for achieving long-term goals and short-term targets that integrate different sustainable development themes. The analysis here is intended to contribute to that thinking process.

The report