The United Nations set up a commission to look at environmental issues in 1983. It was headed by the Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland. It quickly became known as the Brundtland report.
The Brundtland commission researched into environmental and economic issues before publishing its final report, Our Common Future, in 1987.
The report highlighted the idea of sustainable development and defined it as:
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
The report suggested that international governments should meet to look at how to best reduce the effects of human activities on the environment for future generations. This led to the first Earth Summit, held in Rio, Brazil in 1992.