The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Global Compact Network in India (GCNI) have stressed that business have a leading role to play in India's transition to green economy. Speaking at the pre-Rio+20 event "Business at Rio+20: Engaging for a sustainable world", Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said, "For India to implement its green growth plan, most solutions will come from business. CII strongly advocates its members to take leadership in green growth and urges government to provide direction, keeping in mind national development priorities."
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Global Compact Network in India (GCNI) are taking a joint business delegation to Rio from 14-20 June, for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Mr S Gopalakrishnan, President-designate, CII and Executive Co-chairman, Infosys, and Mr S Vasudeva, President, GCNI, and Chairman, ONGC will co-lead the delegation.
Mr Vasudeva said, "The United Nations Global Compact embraces volunteerism as a cogent delivery mechanism for corporates around the world to adopt sustainability focused programmes without waiting for policy prescription to emerge from host Governments. It encourages them to adopt actionable templates and voluntary ‘pledges', ‘declarations' and ‘commitments' as goal – setting tools in these endeavours."
Popularly known as the Rio+20 Summit, the Conference marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.
The official discussions will take place between 20 -22 June when participating governments will discuss various issues along two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication; and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development. The preparations for Rio+20 have highlighted seven areas which need priority attention; these include decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.
Mr Vivek Wadekar, Director, Ministry of Environment and Forests said, "the zero draft did not reflect all the concerns and positions of the G77 and China, especially in terms of the means of implementation and the full integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, namely economic, social and environmental pillars. There is willingness to engage constructively in negotiations of the outcome document with a goal of achieving renewed political commitment for sustainable development and to refrain from renegotiating or retracting agreed outcomes of the major summits and agreed principles, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities."
The UN Global Compact will host the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum: Innovation & Collaboration for the Future We Want from 15 -18 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. The Forum aims to strengthen the business contribution to sustainable development globally – seeking to bring greater scale to responsible business practices, to advance and diffuse sustainable innovation, and to stimulate broader collaboration between companies, governments, civil society and the UN.
Ms Meijer, UN Resident Coordinator India said, "India has an important role to play with its growing reach. Business in India is quite advanced in sustainable and corporate social responsibility. There is still potential for expanding and scaling initiatives of Indian business."
The CII-GCNI business delegation will participate in various sessions and meet with other business organisations to exchange views. The list of members is attached.