I had the opportunity to attend the much-anticipated Rio+20 conference last week. What I thought would be a week-long vacation with a couple of interesting talks thrown in turned out to be six long, but invigorating days of trying to keep up with all that was happening and absorb as much of it as possible. Outside of the official negotiations, there were over 500 side events on topics ranging from big-picture to super-specific, with discussions heated to monotonous, and outlooks glass-half-full to no-point-in-crying-over-spilt-milk. Over 50,000 people attended.
Armed with my notepad and pen, I captured snippets of both on-stage and off-stage conversations along the way.
Coming out of the conference, the question I’ve been asked most is: “Do you think it was a success?” I’ve picked out a few quotes that I think add up to a well-rounded perspective on the conference, and allow you to make up your own mind about the outcome.
A short while ago, GreenOrder welcomed Professor Michael Gerrard to our New York office as the speaker for our weekly seminar series. Professor Gerrard, Director of the Columbia Center for Climate Change Law, is an accomplished environmental lawyer with over 30 years of experience under his belt. Needless to say, he is a thought leader on all things environmental law and policy-related, with an incredible understanding of the policy landscape, and a keen sense for upcoming policy trends.
Professor Gerrard spoke to the GreenOrder team about 15 significant new or upcoming environmental policies we should watch out for, covering everything from on-bill financing for residential energy efficiency projects, to changes in flood plain mapping practices.
We noted that some of these policies might be particularly important for business leaders to understand and prepare for. These policies fall under three main buckets: more disclosure, regulation of green claims, and requirements for disaster planning. The following policies -- which are at various stages of fruition -- could fundamentally change the way we do business in the coming years.