Global v Local

As the Earth Summit in Rio draws to a close, progress on sustainable development seems as far away as ever. Delegates have complained that the Summit will simply rubber-stamp a negotiating text with few firm commitments. But are international summits like these really the best place to kick-start effective change?

This week on One Planet we ask how best a sustainable future can be delivered on the ground - looking at different tiers of political power - from the local council, to city and state to national government level.

If nation-states at international summits can't agree, is it time to go back to the old green mantra of "think globally, act locally"? We visit Brighton on the UK's south coast, the first town in Britain where the local authority is controlled by the Green Party. One year after taking office, what it is doing to develop a more sustainable future for their city?

Plus, Eileen Claussen at the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions in Washington DC tells us how governments at a state and regional level are taking the lead on sustainable development in the US; we hear from our correspondent in Seoul in South Korea, where the national government has decided to start their own "green revolution" to take action on climate change; and we ask Dr Matthew Lockwood of the Institute of Development Studies based at the University of Sussex where tangible change can be achieved.

As ever, have a listen and let us know what you think. You can email the team at, follow us on Twitter, or join us on Facebook - the links are below.

Available now

18 minutes

Last on

Mon 25 Jun 2012 10:32 GMT

BBC World Service Archive

BBC World Service Archive

This programme was restored as part of the World Service archive project