Can money be green? Photo: Henrik Ström (CC: by-sa)
The Rio+20 conference on sustainability is drawing closer, and the world’s eyes are directed towards Brasil, where things like a new, greener economy will be discussed in a few days.
What a green economy really is, isn’t always easy to define. I think there are as many definitions as there are groups using the term.
But somewhere that “green economy” could be used with confidence is at the office of the Swedish bank Ekobanken. This bank, which was founded in 1996, is owned by a large part of its costumers and has the ambition to
“help changing our view on money, capital and what the role of a bank can and should be”
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Panel-discussion Summing up what has happened since 1972. The secretary-general of the Stockholm Conference in 1972 Maurice Strong is the first at the left of the panelists. Note the Swedish king in profile between the first and second panelists from the right! Photo: Sara Jeswani.
Many may not know it, but it is often said that it was in Stockholm that the sustainability discussion first started. The 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, also known as the Stockholm Conference, is widely recognized as the beginning of modern political and public awareness of global environmental problems.
This week it has been 40 years since then, and to commemorate this Stockholm is now hosting a new forum, leading up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on sustainable development that will be held later this year, dealing with the tricky mission of “defining pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all” .
So right now we have more than 30 ministers from all over the world, and hundreds of international participants in Stockholm – in fact just a few blocks away from my office.
This morning I went there to listen to a panel made up of former participants of the conferences held ever since 1972, being asked what has actually happened since then.
“Not enough” was the harsh answer from the panel’s oldest member, Maurice Strong who was secretary-general at the Stockholm Conference in 1972.
– There’s nothing wrong with the agreements made during this time, but the problem is in the implementation of these agreements. Today we are in a more urgent situation than then, but the will has faded. Frankly, we need a revolution. Because the survival of humanity is at risk, he said.
A reminder from the parallel conference: There is no planet B! Photo: Sara Jeswani.
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