If you’re active on social media you might have noticed #RioPlus20 appearing on various tweets, trending topics and the like over the past month.
Well, the mega-conference (as it was dubbed), 20 years on from the first summit in Brazil, finished last week. In the build-up to the summit pressure had been mounting on world leaders to deliver an ambitious treaty that would accelerate the development of the global green economy.
A petition was backed by a global “twitterstorm” as campaigners used Twitter for exactly what made it famous last year – pushing an important message out, making it viral and getting others to join the conversation. The campaign even saw a digital intervention from the Prince of Wales who joined the conversation with a YouTube broadcast:
“Like a sleepwalker, we seem unable to wake up to the fact that so many of the catastrophic consequences of carrying on with “business-as-usual” are bearing down on us faster than we think, already dragging many millions more people into poverty and dangerously weakening global food, water and energy security for the future,” he said.
A powerful backing you’ll agree.
Focusing on the Prince of Wales’ words, it is this “business-as-usual” attitude which needs to change to a “business-not-as-usual” one so that we can once and for all dispel the myth that a growing economy cannot be a green economy.
Now, the summit (Rio Plus 20) is supposed to be a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to rebalance the needs of the economy, society and environment, but the deal reached by advanced negotiators has already been criticised as too weak by NGO’s.
If there is a silver lining however, it is that rebalancing the needs of the economy, society and environment doesn’t actually have to be a 20 year occurrence. If you think globally yet act locally you can make a difference as an individual. Simply recycling cans in the workplace, at home or on the go can have a huge impact if adopted by the majority.
With social media a new addition to the campaigner’s weaponry, it’s encouraging to see such global support, a worldwide belief in ‘business-not-as-usual,’ and a consequent nailing of the aforementioned myth in 140 character tweets. Even if this hasn’t yet been translated in the UN’s document, it’s good to see that it is resonating with the people that can make a difference – you and I.
Certainly, as a recycling ambassador and voice of the drinks can industry, with wider touch-points in the consumer packaging industry on the whole, the evidence that there is a global debate taking place about the energy topics that really matter and a real belief in a green business future is encouraging. It is without doubt, necessary.
Every Can Counts