WBCSD Delivers Policy Solutions to Rio+20, Calls For Urgent Leadership From Governments

Geneva, May 22, 2012– The World Business Council for Sustainable Development(WBCSD) today launched Changing Pace, a detailed blueprint of policy recommendations to scale up business solutions that can tackle our most pressing sustainability challenges.

“Business skills and capacity have until now been grossly underestimated and undervalued by governments around the world,” said Peter Bakker, President, WBCSD.  “We have a tremendous opportunity in Rio to start down the path toward sustainability, but we cannot get there unless we unleash the power of business as a full partner in this effort through policy and collaboration. We need policies to allow business to do what it does best: innovate and solve problems that will help us reach a sustainable world.”

Changing Pace complements WBCSD’s landmark report Vision 2050, which identifies pathways and timeframes to allow 9 billion people to live well and within the limits of our planet by 2050.  Changing Pace builds on Vision 2050 by putting forward clear and concrete policy proposals aimed at accelerating progress toward inclusive and sustainable growth. The report is an invitation from WBCSD and its member companies, to governments, civil society and fellow business leaders to actively engage in dialogues to shape policy solutions and pathways to a sustainable 2050 at national and international level.

Changing Pace is meant to facilitate a discussion between the WBCSD and national governments in order to develop and implement concrete policies that stimulate the innovation and implementation of sustainable business solutions.  

Regardless of whether Rio+20 is able to achieve progress through a comprehensive international agreement, urgent action at the national level is still needed now more than ever.  Policies at the national level must be enacted that will drive business innovation and success while achieving sustainability at scale in a world whose population is projected to increase 2 Billion by 2050.

Changing Pace identifies seven categories of policy action that create a dynamic and achievable policy framework and applies them to the nine elements laid out in Vision 2050 necessary to create a sustainable world.

The seven categories of action that constitute the “Green Growth Policy Accelerator” in Changing Pace are:

  • Set goals with a clear purpose and specific goals that define the world in which we want to live;
  • Communicate and educate the public to foster understanding and commitment to pursue sustainability objectives;
  • Standardize by enforcing and introducing performance standards, emission or usage limits and codes of conduct;
  • Budget through fiscal reforms to price scarce natural resources and negative externalities;
  • Invest for efficient infrastructures, technology developments, and green public procurements that mobilize private capital for green growth;
  • Monitor progress through adequate indicators that compensate for the limitations of GDP; and,
  • Coordinate governance that is predictable, coherent and has longevity.

Changing Pace is about adopting better rules for markets, and overcoming mindsets and dilemmas about how governments and business should work together. Changing Pace recognizes that only with business, government and civil society fulfilling and coordinating their respective roles can we achieve the speed and scale necessary to reach a sustainable path by 2050.

Changing Pace was released at the B4E Conference in Berlin, Germany


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