Friends of Rio+20

We must overcome urgent and interlinked economic, social and environmental challenges in the coming decades to create a sustainable development path. Over 1.4 billion people have no access to electricity or decent water; 900 million people are still hungry; we will need 600 million
jobs within the next 10 years; and research indicates that human societies are placing such pressures on the Earth’s environmental systems that we may soon move beyond safe natural boundaries.

On the occasion of Rio+20, we have come together as an extraordinary coalition of business, scientific and civil society leaders to suggest practical actions to meet these pressing sustainable development challenges.

Governments must define the goals, policies and laws needed to move to a sustainable development path. However, given the urgency of the challenge, we encourage governments to also embrace more multistakeholder and multidimensional ways of generating action on sustainable development – not as a substitute for multilateral agreements or national plans, but to facilitate their ultimate impact.

There is now substantial evidence that clearly defined coalitions of willing and able actors from across government, business, science and civil society can mobilize their combined skills, innovation and resources to make clear progress at scale, against specific sustainable development goals. Such practical collaborations cut across traditional boundaries of interest,
expertise and nationality. They can be participative, transparent and accountable. They can be designed to meet combined social, economic and environmental objectives, relevant to each particular sustainable development goal. And they can, and do, deliver practical results, fast.

We list over 30 solid examples of such coalitions in the full report, some of which we are engaged in. These include collaborations to improve access to food, water, energy and jobs.

Such multistakeholder activities are often able to achieve, through collaboration and innovation, a scale and speed of impact that can support and complement government and international efforts on sustainable development.

Read the full statement.