Later this month, government and business leaders, members of civil society and the world’s press will convene in Rio de Janeiro for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
According to the results of a recent PwC poll of global CEOs, while global summits, such as Rio+20, help to focus the minds of governments and businesses, CEOs have greater confidence in a bottom up approach. When asked what they perceive to be the most effective measures to drive action in these areas, almost all CEOs polled favoured the use of national or regional regulation and national subsidies and taxation, as well as private sector investment.
It is therefore not surprising that we are continuing to see new regulations, subsidies, taxes and other policies emerging at the national level and, increasingly, sub-national level, as countries look to address the sustainability agenda at home. In the past few months we have seen climate change legislation enacted in Mexico and South Korea, and the development of environmental policies in Peru, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and some states of India. A focus on increasing the share of renewables and clean energy in the global energy mix is on the rise, with Denmark committing to ambitious renewable energy targets and developments in the feed-in-tariff schemes of Germany, Los Angeles and Japan. Meanwhile, Australia readies itself for the introduction of its carbon price next month, and preparations continue in China for the launch of its pilot trading schemes next year.