In an article for the Guardian today, Nick Clegg has today set out his three priorities for the summit:
“First, we want more national governments to broaden their understanding of wealth. Gross domestic product is vital in measuring economic performance, but it doesn't capture the full picture. It says nothing about natural capital – the forests, farmland, rivers, and coastline on which future prosperity depends. The UK is working on a kind of “GDP+” so that, by 2020, our national accounts reflect these assets.
“Second, Rio must set out a plan for the future. The best way to drive progress is through clear ambitions with hard deadlines…We're proposing a package of sustainable development goals to rally the international community around ensuring that all people, everywhere, have access to food, clean water and green energy. Agreeing these will be a huge undertaking – but this week we need to get them off the ground.
“And finally, we need to bring business in. Using resources responsibly is in business's own interests too…The UK will press for governments to come together, working with those companies already blazing a trail, to give “sustainability reporting” a global push. By agreeing common standards and practices we can get many more firms on board. And in the UK, from the start of next financial year, all firms listed on the London Stock Exchange will have to report the levels of greenhouse gases they emit.”
The decision to force companies to report their carbon emissions has been welcomed by Christian Aid, who said: 'We know that the world's poorest people are hit first and worst by the changing climate and this decision provides some hope that the UK government is serious about tackling the crisis’.