The BMW Group is the official sponsor of the United Nations Rio+20 sustainability conference in Rio de Janeiro.
As sponsor, the carmaker will be showcasing its main sustainable management milestones in the BMW Group Sustainability Lounge, a 400-square-metre pavilion. The pavilion is located on the official conference premises and is made of lightweight white nylon.
The structure supports itself by way of air pressure and the fabric allows for optimal utilisation of daylight.
The official UN negotiations are taking place June 20 to 22, although there have been more than 3,000 Rio+20-related events around the city over the past month, drawing more than 50,000 out-of-towners.
These have included gatherings of indigenous people, protest rallies, art exhibits, themed beach parties, and even a march by topless feminists who called for an end to exploitation of nature.
The first Rio Earth summit in 1992 paved the way for a global treaty on biodiversity, and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases, which is due to expire this year. The Rio+20 moniker is a nod to the 1992 summit.
Heads of state and ministers, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will meet with diplomats representing other nations from Wednesday for three days to discuss the text and possibly make some changes to its wording.
Yet expectations remain low because of the world’s many economic woes.
“The European Debt crisis, U.S. joblessness and even the Chinese economic slowdown has sapped some people’s enthusiasm,” said Timothy Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation.
Building a global consensus on sustainability is becoming increasingly difficult as a result of economic crises and a US political climate that is increasingly hostile to action on climate change, according to Gro Harlem Brundtland, one of the chief architects of the first Rio Earth summit in 1992.