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" even in the absence of policy perfection, the trillionth dollar has just been invested in renewable energy. "conference in Cancun, Durban was a loud message for the world: the future is unmistakably low-carbon!So governments have clearly set the direction, but this is not enough. The outcomes from Durban will make a significant contribution towards a more sustainable future - if and only if, all pledges, aspirations and plans are fully implemented. Considering the scale of the transformation necessary for the sustainability revolution, it is clear that governments cannot deliver on their own.One of the themes that ran through Barbara Ward's life was that of cooperation. To quote: cooperation across seas, across frontiers and acrosscultures - cooperation for human renewal and development. Meeting the challenge we face will be impossible without an unprecedented level of cooperation between the public, the private and the civil society sectors. This is as true for implementing the Durban outcomes as it is for achieving the sustainability revolution more generally.Between now and 2015, the climate policy-making process needs encouragement - encouragement through concrete action. Action that moves us closer to the energy revolution that we need. Beyond governments, this concerns business and civil society. I fully understand the many private sector calls for absolute policy clarity before business can invest with total confidence. But let us remember that even in the absence of policy perfection, the trillionth dollar has just been invested in renewable energy. This market trend is encouraging, and begins to pre-adapt economies to the new low-carbon era. I am encouraged that some enlightened companies have taken the lead, but this is not enough. The outcomes from Durban will make a significant contribution towards a more sustainable future - if progressive companies take the lead and committed civil society remains engaged. Civil society organisations can be a powerful vocal support that influence consumer behaviour and give policy makers a broader political space in which to act courageously.And so today I stand before you with a clear request to all of you. Whether you represent government, business or civil society, take the unambiguous low-carbon policy signals from Durban, and help us increase action through new partnerships.. Help us to ignite action to such a level that it can power and maintain momentum for the sustainability revolution, help alleviate poverty andboost policy-makers' confidence.. Help us make the revolution real.. Help us achieve the change we need. nACKNOWLEDGMENTThe above remarks by Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, are extracted from an address Ms Figueres delivered on 9 March 2012 in London at Barbara Ward Lecture - an annual event organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). IIED's founder, Barbara Ward (1914 -1981), was a renowned economist, journalist, lecturer and policy advisor, who was among the earliest advocates of sustainable development.Pictured: Christiana Figueres (left) and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right)post-durban remarks 035

BUILDING GREEN ECONOMIES FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURESha Zukang, UN Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs Secretary-General, The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) The preparatory process for Rio+20 has stimulated a great deal of reflection and debate on our current economic model and its ability to deliver on sustainable development. It is clear that countries need economic dynamism to be able to provide decent jobs and a decent standard of living to their people. However, the rules governing economies will need to change if we are to adequately address global challenges like climate change. Our actions and decisions - how we generate and use energy, what we consume, how we produce - all have consequences for the environment and for human well-being.Until this point, the rules of our economies have not often required that we factor the social costs of our decisions into prices and markets. For example, the air pollution and health damage of vehicle, industrial and power plant emissions are not taken into account as they should be. Nor do we consider how the decision to burn fossil fuels impacts global climate change. Rio Principle 16 states: n National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalisation of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment. Furthermore, with respect to global problems like climate change, Rio Principle 7 states clearly the need to recognise the common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities of different countries. It states:n States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different contributions to "Global environmental degradation" global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command.Here, as with Principle 16, the application in practice leaves much to be desired. This brings me to the objective of the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20): to renew political commitment for sustainable development. Member States recognise that renewing political commitment must begin with re-energising the global partnership for sustainable development. Governments must reaffirm the Rio Principles and reinforce their application in practice - all of them.We must also be prepared to address new and emerging challenges going forward. We face a number of these challenges: poverty; food, water and energy insecurity; climate change; financial instability; and unemployment. Not all of these are new, but they are all pressing and interacting in complex ways. That is why an integrated and holistic approach to sustainable development is required. Pictured: Sha Zukang036 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - RIO+20