Just days ahead of the high-level segment of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, in the Brazilian capital, Claes Tullin of the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden will be telling a Speaker’s Corner at the Rio+20 exhibition what he sees as a pressing need for people to make lifestyle changes and to develop a sustainable bioeconomy.
In doing so he will be leaning on Bio4Energy’s vision of developing efficient and sustainable biorefinery, from seed to advanced biofuels and “green” chemicals, and on the common effort of the B4E partners to market and to marry together the many biorefinery pilots facilities and demonstration units that line the eastern coast of northern Sweden.
“We have a number of demonstration units and are world leading in much of what we do up north” in terms of biorefinery based on forest-sourced products or organic waste, said Tullin on the eve of leaving Sweden for Rio de Janerio. He added that he was “happy to be representing Bio4Energy” which has been intensifying its cooperation with SP since the autumn of 2011.
“Our research activities are more integrated in the economy at large than in many other places”, Tullin said with reference to the bioenergy and biorefinery cluster in northern Sweden.
Waste to energy
Tullin would also be speaking about Sweden’s inroads to turning waste into energy, biogas or the like. “We have come a long way” in developing waste combustion techniques, thus ridding incineration operations of environmentally harmful emissions, he said: “Unfortunately there is a widespread misunderstanding about waste (incineration). What comes out of the chimney today is quite clean”.
But most of all Tullin seems to want to tell the Rio+ delegates, of wh0m world leaders meeting 20-22 June, that it is time for a new consumption and production paradigm. “There is one global crisis after another” because we live beyond our means, he said. “Increased wealth means increased resource use. There is (global) population growth”.
Referring to the teachings of sustainability profiles such as the University of Surrey professor Tim Jackson, Tällberg Foundation board member and previous member of the European Parliament, Anders Wijkman, or Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Environment Institute, Tullin said they were all about fundamentally changing the way we live, finding ways to create new "identities” for people, which were more axed on a 'less-is-more' mentality respectful of the limits of the Earth.
What the UN says about Rio+20 on the UNCSD website
"The objective of the Conference is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.
Seven "critical issues" have been selected as needing "priority attention" at Rio+20 by the world's leaders, businesses, non-governmental organisations and civil society. They are:
Food security and sustainable agriculture;
Moreover the UNCSD Secretariat together with its partners has prepared a series of Rio+20 Issues Briefs, to serve a starting point for discussions across a range of topics.
In the video clip below, courtesy of the UN, UN Environment Programme green economy advisor Jyotsna (Jo) Puri speaks on the importance of forests and forest health for developing a global "green" economy.
UNEP advisor Jyotsna (Jo) Puri says forests are "important in so many ways" and not just because they "generate income and employment".