Featured speakers at the conference include:

  • Québec Premier Jean Charest;
  • Maurice Strong, 1992 Earth Summit Secretary-General
  • Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator, UNCSD Rio +20
  • Chris Bentley, Ontario Minister of Energy
  • Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Innovation;
  • Scott Vaughan - Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development
  • David McLaughlin - National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy President and CEO
  • Stewart Elgie Director of the Institute of the Environment and Chair, Sustainable Prosperity

...along with leaders from several industry sectors and others.

The 1992 Rio Earth Summit was attended by more than 100 Heads of Government, including then-federal Environment Minister Jean Charest, who led the Canadian delegation. The aim of the Rio Earth Summit was to chart a course for global sustainable development, with the goal of combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and alleviating poverty in developing countries.

At the end of that Summit, the world’s heads of state declared that we had no more than 10 or 20 years to reverse the world’s ecological decline and to dramatically reduce poverty, and created a plan to tackle those global problems. However, today, we face a situation where those ecological declines are much worse. On June 20 - 22, Brazil is hosting Rio + 20 where 130 world leaders will take stock in the current situation, with the central focus being the need to build a global Green Economy.
This conference in Ottawa has been designed to assess the prospects for success in Rio and examine Canada`s progress towards developing a green economy. The issue is increasingly on the global agenda as decision-makers grapple with multiple pressures – a warming climate, ocean acidification, deforestation, growing human population and loss of biodiversity all appear to threaten long term prosperity and sustainability of the current global economy and well-being of the planet’s citizens. As the world’s leaders prepare to gather in Rio de Janeiro, the Green Economy will be key to ensuring global sustainability, and this represents both challenges and opportunities for Canada.

This two day conference, by Sustainable Prosperity (a national green economy think tank and research network) and the Institute of the Environment of The University of Ottawa, will:

  • Take stock of Canada’s efforts to build a low carbon, green economy as an essential strategy for sustainable development on a global basis.
  • Provide a cross-cutting view of the policy, economic and governance challenges faced by Canada and other nations, in the context of Rio + 20.
  • Identify leading practices and solutions, as well as challenges in transitioning to a green economy.

“It is possible to build a greener, more prosperous economy, but only with strong policy leadership from governments. That is a critical challenge for Canada and the planet over the coming decade.”
Stewart Elgie, a professor of law and economics at University of Ottawa, and Chair of Sustainable Prosperity.
“The “green economy” is not just a slogan: Rio+20 must produce strong new impetus to its achievement at national, local and global levels.”
Maurice Strong, 1992 Earth Summit Secretary-General

Media contact:
Jennifer Wesanko

SP is a national green economy think tank and policy research network based out of the University of Ottawa. Directed by some of Canada’s top economic, environmental, research and business leaders, our mission is to generate smart ideas to build a greener, more competitive Canadian economy.

News Release available on the Canadian News Wire here.