Achieving Sustainable Consumption for Sustainable Development: Issues and Solutions; Achieving Sustainable Consumption for Sustainable Development: Issues and Solutions
Promoting sustainable consumption and production are important aspects of sustainable development. Agenda 21, endorsed by the United Nations Conference on Economic Development (UNCED) in 1992, identified unsustainable consumption and production patterns, particularly in industrialised countries, as the major cause behind the continued deterioration of the global environment. Agenda 21 stresses that changes in consumption and production patterns are necessary to ensure more sustainable development. It calls on industrialised countries to take the lead in achieving sustainable consumption patterns and demonstrate that resource-efficient, low-pollution lifestyles are feasible. The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg recognised the necessity of “changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production”. Current patterns of consumption and production, particularly, in the developed countries are unsustainable. They are depleting forest resources, fisheries, groundwater and bio diversity, polluting air, water and eco systems and causing dangerous climate changes. Environmental decay is occurring everywhere around the globe. This article focuses on sustainable consumption. Without sustainable consumption, sustainable development is impossible. Sustainable consumption has become an important issue on the global governance agenda. There is an increasing recognition that increases in resource productivity alone will not be sufficient to deliver sustainable development. Shifts in the scale and pattern of consumption are essential and it depends on the expectations, choices, behaviours and the lifestyles of consumers. These issues are key components within the emerging concept of ‘Sustainable Consumption’.
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