This post by the secretary general of The Club of Rome, Ian Johnson, examines how our current economic model could be re-engineered to meet the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. It is an extract from his contribution to a collection of writings about the Earth Summit, Rio+20: where it should lead, published by Green Alliance and the RSPB.
High on the agenda of Rio+20 negotiators this month will be the green economy: the need to redirect our economies and economic growth towards sustainability. The wording of the negotiating texts will be vague enough to find political support almost anywhere and this will sit well with ministries of finance, most of which will not attend the meeting and will feel little or no real commitment to its outcome. A text will, no doubt, be drawn up with sufficient flexibility to allow for anything to pass for green growth. Everyone will leave happy and satisfied with the result: another tick in the box of environmental diplomacy.