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United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)


The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 20-22, 2012, attracting more than 45,000 participants, with Heads of States from more than one hundred nations and a sizeable contingent of civil society groups represented to mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark "Earth Summit."


The two main themes of the Conference were 'green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication' and 'the institutional framework for sustainable development.' A number of sectoral or thematic proposals have been advanced, including how to build on the UN's Sustainable Energy for All initiative, while the important role of the private sector to promote inclusive green growth and sustainable development is recognized and emphasized throughout. 


IFC's Role


The private sector's critical role is to innovate, to finance, and to do business in a sustainable way. Stronger support for green growth and sustainable development can be fostered through an enabling policy environment with smart incentives. In Rio, IFC strived to show how private investment and development is key to achieving meaningful progress in putting the global economy on a more sustainable growth path. 


As just one part of our outreach, IFC published two reports during the Rio conference:


MoneyMoves: How Private Sector Finance Can Work for a Sustainable Future


IFC invited 15 extraordinary business leaders in environmental and social sustainability to identify challenges in the "green" growth path. They share what they do to address them as well as what they think governments and regulators should do. Their proposals are intriguing: realistic, tested, pragmatic and feasible. And they all lead to the same conclusion: the time for leadership is now.

From Gap to Opportunity: Business Models for Scaling Up Energy Access


This report breaks new ground by estimating that there is a $37 billion market opportunity for improved energy services at the base of the pyramid. It profiles companies with innovative business models and explores in detail what it takes for them to succeed. 


More specifically, the report sizes the commercial opportunity for lighting, basic electricity and cooking services, and explores in depth how companies are capturing this potential around the world. With a view to scaling up market-based successes, it offers a series of recommendations for operating firms, social and commercial investors, as well as policy-makers and donors.


Background reports


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