This publication was conceived with the idea of showing how the planet has changed in two decades—just twenty years— since decision-makers met at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. To relay this information in a compelling and succinct manner, environmental and related trends are charted and presented using globally-aggregated (and mainly statistical) data sets collected by international agencies, research bodies and other official entities.
Major economic, environmental, social and technological trends are shown through numerically-based graphs, with their upward, downward or stable trend lines as dictated by the data. While most of these trends speak for themselves, short explanations of the phenomena observed are also provided for further elucidation. Also included are a number of illustrative “before and after” satellite images, primarily covering the same time period of 1992-2010 and showing environmental changes at the local level. In some cases, these impacts are ongoing.