Chapter 4 - Changing Consumption Patterns

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by kelphead on July 10, 2001 at 18:36:01:

In Reply to: Re: Kelphead, how extensively have you travelled the planet? posted by kelphead on July 08, 2001 at 00:57:21:

taken from:


This is a final, advanced version of a chapter of
Agenda 21, as adopted by the Plenary in Rio de
Janeiro, on June 14, 1992. This document will be
further edited, translated into the official
languages, and published by the United Nations
for the General Assembly this autumn.

4.1. This chapter contains the following programme areas:

(a) Focusing on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption;

(b) Developing national policies and strategies to encourage changes in
unsustainable consumption patterns.

4.2. Since the issue of changing consumption patterns is very broad, it is
addressed in several parts of Agenda 21, notably those dealing with energy,
transportation and wastes, and in the chapters on economic instruments and the
transfer of technology. The present chapter should also be read in conjunction
with chapter 5 (Demographic dynamics and sustainability).


A. Focusing on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption

Basis for action

4.3. Poverty and environmental degradation are closely interrelated. While poverty
results in certain kinds of environmental stress, the major cause of the continued
deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of
consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries, which is a
matter of grave concern, aggravating poverty and imbalances.

4.4. Measures to be undertaken at the international level for the protection and
enhancement of the environment must take fully into account the current
imbalances in the global patterns of consumption and production.

4.5. Special attention should be paid to the demand for natural resources
generated by unsustainable consumption and to the efficient use of those
resources consistent with the goal of minimizing depletion and reducing
pollution. Although consumption patterns are very high in certain parts of the
world, the basic consumer needs of a large section of humanity are not being
met. This results in excessive demands and unsustainable lifestyles among the
richer segments, which place immense stress on the environment. The poorer
segments, meanwhile, are unable to meet food, health care, shelter and
educational needs. Changing consumption patterns will require a multipronged
strategy focusing on demand, meeting the basic needs of the poor, and reducing
wastage and the use of finite resources in the production process.

4.6. Growing recognition of the importance of addressing consumption has also
not yet been matched by an understanding of its implications. Some economists
are questioning traditional concepts of economic growth and underlining the
importance of pursuing economic objectives that take account of the full value of
natural resource capital. More needs to be known about the role of consumption
in relation to economic growth and population dynamics in order to formulate
coherent international and national policies.


4.7. Action is needed to meet the following broad objectives:

(a) To promote patterns of consumption and production that reduce
environmental stress and will meet the basic needs of humanity;

(b) To develop a better understanding of the role of consumption and how to bring
about more sustainable consumption patterns.

[[to view rest of text, please go to link above.]]


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup




[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ California Scuba Diving BBS ] [ FAQ ]