The oficial Rio+20 website describes it as "an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all." Ban Ki-moon said on Friday it's "too big to fail." Ashden Patron HRH The Prince of Wales today appealed to policymakers in Rio to "act betfore it's too late."
We asked some of our current and past Ashden Award winners what their expectations are of the second Earth summit. Here they are:
"We see three areas where the conversations and outcomes of Rio+20 could have the potential to make a dramatic impact on this global challenge. First, by creating widespread global awareness around this issue, new and exciting opportunities for partnerships will be created. Second, if investment capital can be freed up to enable local distributors to take the risk to finance the purchase of renewable energy products, it will greatly enhance and expand the opportunities to market and introduce these types of new technologies in developing markets. Finally, if countries can be encouraged and incentivised to waive import duties and taxes on renewable energy products, affordability of these products in the market will be dramatically improved, which will exponentially increase availability and impact.
Ned Tozun, d.light (Ashden Award winner 2011)
“Rio+20? Let's see climate change as a huge, welcome opportunity, that can bring our economies back on track and make us more happy. Having a common goal brings harmony; having a common fight against climate change brings fear. Stop treating climate change as an enemy and start investing in the new world, not being afraid to lose some of the dirty old world. Let's go for it - it is not too late.”
Willem Nolens, Solar Now (Ashden Award winner 2010)
“Our message to those representing us in Rio+ 20 is that “sustainable energy for all” is not only a goal of, but also a means for development. It is neither only about technology nor is it only about frameworks. It’s the careful combination of both and finally the improvement of the energy culture and energy governance which brings sustainability.”
Tri Mumpuni, IBEKA (Ashden Award winner 2012). Puni was also interviewed for the Guardian on this – you can read it here.
“In a world where trade is global with focus on tariff reduction rather than tariff protection, our markets suffer from ineffective government policy. Tariff protection and duty acts as one of the largest prohibitors in scaling up pico solar in developed and developing countries, adding more than 45% to the price of a product in some countries. This short-sightedness is one of the largest challenges to the success of sustainable energy in general, and pico solar in particular."
Rick Hooper, Barefoot Power (Ashden Award winner 2012)
“What is needed from the UK government is a few simple things which need not cost the public purse a penny:- 1) modest changes to planning law to encourage community ownership, 2) a special Community FiT, and 3) a requirement for developers to offer a community ownership stake under reasonable conditions. Such proposals are not revolutionary but they could transform the outlook for public engagement in the renewables industry.”
Andrew King, Energy 4All (Ashden Award UK winner 2012)
“What I expect from Rio is more governments taking decisions, and having the willpower to make them count. I hope something concrete will come out of Rio. We're almost at the end of the road now. It's now or never.”
LH Manjunath, SKDRDP (Ashden International Gold Award winner 2012). This is an extract from an interview with the Guardian, which you can read in full here.
“As a social enterprise, ToughStuff are ever more convinced of the power of business in delivering social and environmental impact. We would like governments at Rio+20 to recognize this by making real steps towards encouraging and enabling triple-bottom-line businesses that focus on social and environmental benefits as well as financial returns.”
Andrew Tanswell, ToughStuff International (Ashden Award winner 2011)
"I still feel, very strongly, that the core to most issues is global population. All the hard work that individuals and groups do is undermined as population continues to grow rapidly. I feel that someone needs to be brave enough to tackle this issue head on to make sustainability a realistic target........controversial as it is!! This should be a priority at Rio+20."
Elliot Simm, Northwards Housing (Ashden Award winner 2010)