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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 25 October 2012

Commission gathers views on ways to follow-up Rio+20

The United Nations Rio+20 world summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, aimed to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development. To follow up on the conference, the European Commission wishes to develop specific actions and concrete measures to make sustainable development a reality, within the EU and globally. A public consultation is being held to gather views and ideas. These will be an input to a Communication from the Commission on the follow-up to Rio+20, planned for the first quarter of 2013. The consultation is open until 15 January 2013.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "Rio+20 was not just another conference – it was a loud and clear call for action to secure a sustainable future globally, a call for change to improve and sustain our quality of lives by respecting the boundaries of the only planet we share. Rio+20 gave the impulse; it is now in our hands to make sustainable development a reality in every corner of the planet. And we want to engage everyone in the debate on the concrete steps which need to be taken."

The public consultation seeks input on a number of policy questions around five main lines:

1. Policies aimed at moving towards an inclusive green economy, as a means to achieve sustainable development in the EU and globally.

2. Setting priority areas of action, such as poverty eradication, sustainable agriculture, water, sustainable energy, decent work for all, oceans and fisheries, and sustainable consumption and production, and reflecting upon the usefulness of targets and indicators in these areas.

3. Developing Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting on themes and topics and their optimal form, and suggesting ways to monitor progress in reaching them.

4. Considering options for an effective Sustainable Development Financing Strategy, including on possibilities of mobilising existing resources and ways of encouraging investments.

5. Strengthening the institutional framework for sustainable development, in the context of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development, and thinking about ways to improve stakeholder participation.

The consultation is also a complement to the public consultations "Towards a post-2015 development framework", organised earlier this year.

The consultation seeks responses from all interested parties: citizens, organisations, public administrations, businesses etc.

Next Steps

The Commission plans to issue a Communication on Rio+20 follow-up in the first quarter of 2013.


Two decades after the first 'Earth Summit' in 1992, although good progress has been made as regards poverty eradication and environmental degradation, considerable global challenges remain. Several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are severely off-track. Roughly 1.4 billion people still live in extreme poverty and one sixth of the world’s population is undernourished. Natural resources are depleting while global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. This set an important challenge for sustainable development globally.

Against this backdrop world leaders met in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 for the fourth Earth Summit of this kind, to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio UN Conference on Environment and Development and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. Rio+20 focussed on two interlinked themes: the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

After extensive negotiations a Rio+20 Outcome document was agreed upon, with a number of actions and commitments, that the EU will need to follow up on.

For more information:

To participate in the public consultation:

See also:

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)

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