For Immediate Release
June 14, 2012
Contacts: Jennifer Talhelm, 301-405-4390 or email@example.com
Rio+20 Summit a Chance to Re-envision Clean Energy Development, UMD's Hultman Says
Report for Conference Co-Authored by MSPP's Hultman
COLLEGE PARK, Md - Addressing the linked global challenges of economic development, access to clean water and energy, and protection of the environment will be on the agenda at next week's major United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Rio+20. University of Maryland Public Policy Professor Nathan Hultman says progress is possible - by thinking differently about the pathways to green growth.
Two decades since the first Rio Earth Summit, in which nations of the world made a broad commitment to sustainable development, billions of people still do not have access to basic energy services or clean drinking water, and the need for economic opportunity is acute in developed and developing parts of the world. With help to stimulate green growth and innovation, nations could improve their environment and their economies at the same time, Hultman and two co-authors wrote in a Brookings Institution report for the U.N. conference.
"At the first Rio Earth Summit 20 years ago, the world set ambitious goals for green growth," Hultman said. "But the reality is that 1.2 billion people don't have access to energy, climate impacts are already being felt, and the people in the poorest nations are the most vulnerable. Rio+20 provides an almost unparalleled opportunity to review our progress, set goals, and establish policies to help solve our environment and development goals simultaneously."
One of the biggest concerns is that many countries may seek to develop resources at the expense of more sustainable growth, and in the process miss the opportunity for changes that would strengthen their economies and the environment, Hultman said. In their report, Hultman, Katherine Sierra of the Brookings Institution, and Allison Shapiro of the University of Michigan's Erb Institute on Global Sustainable Enterprise, lay out a roadmap for ways nations can collaborate on transformative energy technologies that bring clean energy and economic growth across all development contexts. They suggest a new international green innovation partnership that would increase the speed and scale of innovation, attract venture capital and increase international cooperation.
Such a partnership would build on groundwork that has already been laid. It would be supported by regional science foundations, national business incubators, and investment de-risking funds.
"Directing support and aid toward scientists and entrepreneurs would create an environment in which companies are willing to take risks on clean technology and developing countries are able to use that new technology," Hultman said. "It would build on itself, stimulating the economy and helping countries leapfrog ahead of the environmental path they might otherwise follow."
Hultman will discuss the proposal in Brazil, June 19 at 9:30 a.m. as part of a Rio+20 panel discussion, "Innovation in Green Growth Technology for Developing Countries: A Model for a New International Architecture." For more information, please contact Jennifer Talhelm at (301) 405-4390 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Nathan Hultman at Hultman@umd.edu.
About the UMD School of Public Policy
The University of Maryland School of Public Policy (MSPP) is an internationally renowned program dedicated to improving public policy and international affairs. It is the only such school in the Capital area embedded within a major public research institution. The school prepares knowledgeable and innovative leaders to make an impact on the profound challenges of the 21st century. Faculty include the 2005 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics; former officials who have held key positions in Democratic and Republican administrations, including U.S. trade representative, undersecretary of defense, commissioner of the Social Security Administration, and director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect; and leading researchers in a host of public policy disciplines.