Sustainable consumption and production: From “resource-efficient” status quo to social transformation


While there is general acknowledgment that human activity accounts for different forms of environmental deterioration, there is need for precision in tracing the contours of today’s unsustainable patterns in production and consumption. This requires looking at the policy assumptions, the political-economic processes and actors that continue to shape the unsustainable status quo. In particular, dominant production and consumption patterns that have contributed to today’s broader ecological crisis need to be examined.

Unsustainable patterns are political as well as rights issues, especially given the people’s right to development. Identifying current obstacles to the realisation of the people’s right to contribute to and participate in development processes, and to enjoy the fruits of development, means asking questions of power, access and control. This makes it necessary to examine relations among states when it comes to trade and investment, and relations between governments, big business and people’s organisations.


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