No Plan B for the Planet

31/05/2012 / Kaj

It’s worrying me that it is so difficult to build understanding between national governments. We are all developing nations and need to understand how conditions are different depending on where we live on our planet.

Mayors in cities seem to have a better capacity than nations themselves to create strong networks that support sustainable development and foster the growing of low carbon economy.

The international dialogue to build understanding in front of Rio resembles more and more chaos than consensus. Will Rio+20 be another missing opportunity to address the necessary solutions for our planet?

Will Jan Eliasson, Sweden’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs and the incoming UN Deputy Secretary General as of July 1st, 2012 bring a new spirit to the UN? View his message at the Hard Rain Exhibition in Lund in May 2012 – See the interview above at

Folllow and participate in the LinkedIn Rio+20 group at LinkedIn


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  1. Thank you for keeping people informed, Kaj. I appreciate your thoughts.

    Give care, Daniel

  2. Glenn Fleetwood

    Actually my personal opinion is this arguement is a little off-center.

    Building understanding isn’t really the key issue – it is merely reported as the problem by way of a smokescreen to excuse innaction.

    The fact is, national governments understand the science, have scrutinised the issue and have a reasonably good idea of the consequences.

    What they can’t see is how to work through the current systems of the UN, their own electorates and democratic set-ups or indeed any other existing forums to do something about it without critically undermining their own positions.

    The EU economic crisis is the best illustration of this – the problem is understood, a solution is greatly desired by all involved, but it cannot be achieved because of the self-imposed impediments of short-term democratic imperatives, half-baked treaties and a modus operandi which engendered widespread and casually accepted rules-breaking.

    The Earth System Government Project has taken a decade-long view of this and even they don’t go far enough in my opinion – although it seems likely that they don’t because they are trying to make recommendations that might get listened to.

    I think the only way this will get grappled with seriously is if big business as a whole starts playing the long game on sustainability and begins to dictate to national governments on what it wants to see put in place to continue doing business in each country.

    No government wants their country to lose business and jobs, especially in the current downturn, and this negative political capital can be leveraged by politicians against the pain to their electorates of environmental change.

    What we actually need is a business version of the UN with an ESGP view of the problem who can sidestep the apparent paralysis at the center of politics, and with their inherently more stable leadership structures, deal with this long term issue directly – carrying national governments in their wake.

    This however, would be quite the trick….

  3. Jan Eliasson’s comments made me recall a story I heard a little while ago here in Brazil.

    “there was a forest fire and a wolf noticed that a little Beij-flor (humming bird) was flying back and forth, taking a sip of nectar and flying over the fire dropping his nectar and flying back for more… the Wolf said to the humming bird …’Hey, little bird, why are you doing that, your few drops of nectar will not put the fire out?!’
    ‘Maybe not, Mr Wolf,’ replied the humming bird, ‘but, if we ALL do our bit to help, we might just save the forest!'”

    Each of us has a responsibility to help where we can…even if it only seems a drop in the ocean.

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