Anyone reading the newspapers might be forgiven for not noticing the significance of the Rio+20 Earth Summit. Some of the media responses reflected the general mood of disinterest and disappointment, and on the day I returned from Rio, the environment correspondent of the Financial Times could merely muster a report on traffic jams in Rio. I despair! In fact there were a number of significant outcomes, not in the main event inside the Riocentro convention centre where the politics went on, but in ‘side events’ on the margins of this vast sustainability conference. But first what about the political outcomes?