Twenty years ago, I took a week off from my job at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources and attended the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development as a private citizen. At this conference, also known as the Earth Summit, nations of the world, including the United States, endorsed a nonbinding plan for a new form of development: environmentally sustainable development. The big question then was what sustainable development means. At one event, two World Bank officials provided a practical answer, describing projects that built local economies, created jobs and protected and restored the environment at the same time. In June, national leaders from all over the world met again in Rio de Janeiro for the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (or Rio+20), along with about 50,000 other people representing corporations, nongovernmental organizations, local governments and other interests. Read the rest of John Dernbach's article here