Thousands of delegates representing governments, the civil society, the private sector and other groups are coming together in Rio+20. This is one of the most important conferences in the history of the United Nations. The environmental challenges are greater today than 20 years ago, and the question remains whether political leaders will manage to commit to necessary and concrete action. The expectations are low, as many rich nations are battling with the financial crisis and a production-consumption model that seems to have reached its limits in a great part of the world.
With a decade of experience as Asia Environment Correspondent for the Guardian, Jonathan Watts is in Rio as the recently appointed Latin America Correspondent. An influential author, with his latest book When a Billion Chinese Jump exploring the leadership role of emerging new global powers like China.