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Earth debates: discussing the big issues for Rio+20

Webcast live from the Natural History Museum
Forthcoming debates on 22 February, 14 March, 11 April

The Natural History Museum is hosting a series of four Earth Debates, examining key issues of the green economy agenda ahead of June’s Rio+20 UN sustainable development conference. Each debate brings together a panel of experts to discuss the issues and answer questions from the online audience.

Forthcoming debates will cover measuring progress, sustainable cities and food security:

  • Beyond GDP – how can we measure progress?
    22 February 2012. If businesses and governments are to invest in a green economy, we need to be able to measure progress. But the traditional measure of economic growth, GDP, doesn’t take into account the wellbeing of people or the environment. What are the alternatives?
    With panelists Emily Benson (Green Economy Coalition), Hannah Ryder (Department for International Development), Andrew Simms (New Economics Foundation), Paul Simpson (Carbon Disclosure Project).
  • Green cities in a green economy – how to pioneer a sustainable transition?
    14 March 2012. Nearly 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in towns and cities by 2030. So future cities will play a key role in the welfare of both people and the environment. How can we make them greener?
  • Food security – how do we feed 9 billion people in 2050?
    11 April 2012. How can we balance the demands of feeding our growing population with maintaining an environment that can provide the other essential services, water and raw materials that we need?

The first debate on 25th January considered the issue of Ecosystem economics – can we put a price on nature?

Chaired by Tim Radford, former Science Editor of the Guardian, panel members Professor Sir Robert Watson (Defra), Claire Brown (UNEP), Ian Dickie (Aldersgate Group) and Will Evison (PwC and contributor to TEEB) discussed putting a market value on ecosystem services and the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) project. Contributors to the online debate included Pavan Sukhdev, TEEB study leader. The video of the live debate and the online debate are both available online.

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