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Contributing to UN discussions on Sustainable Development

On June 7, 2011 I attended on behalf of The Roberta Bondar Foundation, a Toronto Consultation on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). This was one of a number of meetings that have been convened to provide the Canadian government input on our contributions to Rio + 20.

The delegates divided up into study groups and subsequently met at joint sessions to exchange ideas. One point that was unanimously endorsed was that the government should make concrete and practical suggestions rather than espousing “motherhood” statements.

An issue of note was that there should be a concentrated effort to develop new sources of energy and energy efficient processes. There should be close examination of alternative sources of energy to avoid ones that actually use more energy than they save. The group that I was in discussed renewable energy and clean technology. For example, concerning green regeneration, solar panels are used on Mongolia in rural areas to run the basics. This is interesting, for in the developed world, this same technology is viewed as being too expensive.

Developing countries are able to avoid the whole infrastructure associated with traditional energy delivery such as power-lines. They have the opportunity to grow and leap-frog beyond such infrastructure. Therefore they can become more resilient.

Betty I Roots PhD DSc FRSC
The Roberta Bondar Foundation