The UN conference on sustainable development—also known as Rio+20— is aimed at taking on the vast challenge of transforming global environmental, social and economic policy to cope with a world population of over seven billion that is exhausting the globe’s rapidly dwindling resources and straining existing national infrastructure to the limit. The conference title marks the anniversary of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro 20 years ago. The biggest United Nations conference in years, the meeting is being billed as a major effort to improve mankind’s relationship with the planet. The summit will essentially look at how to safeguard global economic growth without destroying the planet in the process. It also aims to ensure that any new environmental policies will take into account the global good.
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Illustrations by Jayachandran, Graphic by Sandeep Bhatnagar/Mint