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Editor's Note: Setting the Agenda for 2012  

Issue #177 | 18 October 2011

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By: Lynn Wagner, Ph.D., Group Director, SDG Knowledge, IISD <>

As the 1 November 2011 deadline for submissions to the compilation document for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) approaches, the number of proposals for the outcome(s) from 2012 are increasing.

Among the proposals aimed to influence the UNCSD outcome that are highlighted in this issue of Linkages Update are those that emanated from the: Lucerne World Mountain Conference, which adopted a Call for Action, including for adapting and developing mountain governance to avoid poverty, food insecurity and social exclusion; the ministerial-level Delhi Dialogue on green economy and inclusive growth, during which participants discussed financing of a green economy, a green economy roadmap, and energy access, and the proposed set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and possible guiding principles for a definition of "green economy;" and the Tunza International Children and Youth Conference, which concluded with endorsement of the Bandung Declaration, calling governments at the Rio+20 meeting to “respond and not ignore the demands of children and youth.”

Another key focus for 2012 will be its designation as the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All,” and several events in the past fortnight began to mobilize the international agenda for this topic. During the “Energy for All: Financing Access for the Poor” conference, the Government of Norway launched its Energy+ initiative aimed at mobilizing private capital and public resources for energy access. And the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) conference focused on creating and expanding public-private partnerships in areas including energy efficiency, renewables, sustainable transport, trade and finance. These events came on the heels of the UN Secretary-General's appointment, in September, of a slate of leaders to serve on his newly created High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL). This Group has been tasked to help spur the doubling of the rate of progress on energy efficiency and share of renewable energy globally, double energy efficiency, and enable universal access to modern energy services, as part of a Global Action Agenda for the Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

IISD RS is covering several meetings in the coming two weeks that will continue to add to the 2012 agenda and momentum. Our team is in Changwon, Republic of Korea, at the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 10), where the High-level Segment has discussed the topic of desertification, land degradation and drought as a cornerstone of the green economy. And we are fielding teams to Cairo, Seoul and Addis Ababa to cover regional preparatory meetings for the UNCSD, as we continue to identify agenda items emerging from the discussions taking place around the world on the 2012 agenda.