The first summit took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992. Treaties were made to combat global warming and protect biodiversity. The global climate which is considered the average weather, usually over a 30-year time period can be influenced by both natural forces and human activities. "Climate change" refers to any change in climate over time whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. Natural changes in climate result from processes internal to the climate system, such as the complex transfer of heat, moisture and force between the atmosphere and ocean. Natural changes can also stem from external "forcings" of climate, such as changes in the Sun's energy output or in the amount of volcanic gases and particles in the atmosphere. Climate change historically has occurred as a result of these natural forces, but is now occurring in part because of human activities. The greenhouse effect, which allows incoming solar radiation to pass through the Earth's atmosphere but prevents much of the outgoing infra-red radiation from escaping into outer space is a natural process.
The record on moving towards sustainability so far appears to have been quite poor and the vast majority of humanity still lack access to basics such as clean water, adequate sanitation, electricity and so on. Various key issues were addressed, including: * Poverty
* Water quality and availability
* Cleaner energy
* Good governance
* Production and Consumption
* Oceans and Fisheries
These are just a sample and were all discussed in varying degrees. Other related issues such as globalization, women's rights were also discussed. Governments agreed to halve the number of people lacking clean drinking water and basic sanitation. This agreement was perhaps the most...