But many say the conference should have gotten a much better grade. Revolving the meeting around the “green economy” was an idea that arose in the midst of the financial crisis in 2008, says Deutz. The UN was seeking a theme for the Rio+20 at the same time that there was widespread feeling that there was a dire need for a new kind of economic model.
But, at the conference, Deutz says, those dots were not connected. “There was a failure of many leaders to make the connection between the G20 (which took place in Mexico this week) and what the Rio agenda was about. “If the G20 was focused on the need to deal with short-term debt crisis, in Rio it was the longterm ecological debt crisis. The G20 didn't make that connection,” he says.