In June 2012, the Rio +20 Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the largest political debate on the continuity of life on Earth as we know it. The summit was designed to decide on joint action to allow the necessary social and environmental conditions to be maintained for sustaining the existence of many other species with which we share the planet, as well as allowing human civilisation to continue.
Nonetheless, in order to understand the origins of this Summit, we need to look back to 1972, specifically to a United National conference held in Stockholm, which marked a before and after thanks to the presentation of a report entitled 'The Limits to Growth' or the Meadows Reports.
In 1968 in Rome 35 representatives from a total of 30 countries, including scientists, researchers and politicians came to together under a common banner: their concern over the environmental changes affecting society and the planet. In this way, the group known as the 'Club of Rome' was founded, a precursor to the development of the Meadows Report. Two years later they formally set up as an association with the clear aim of researching environmental issues and interlinking different demographic, energy and food aspects with political aspects taking into account the next 50 years.
The first report from the Club of Rome was the 'Meadows Report', presented by Dennis Meadows and published in the United States in 1972. With the written evidence of these 'Limits to Growth', this was the first time in the history of humanity that the serious ecological crisis affecting the planet was evidenced, an unprecedented event since the crisis was created by humanity itself and puts a large swathe of life on Earth in danger. The report was widely distributed and for the first time sparked global concern about the sustainability of life on the planet. Its 50-year forecasts were deemed alarmist but, around 40 years later, many of its conclusions have come to pass meaning it is extremely important to establish the bases for a change in managing resources.
Thanks to this report, people woke up and this led to the birth of a vast environmental movement in most areas of the globe.