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   Consumption and Production Patterns

Changing consumption patterns" is the subject of  Chapter 4 of Agenda 21. At its third session, in 1995, the Commission on Sustainable Development adopted an International Work Programme on Changing Consumption and Production Patterns, which includes five elements:

  1. Trends in Consumption and Production Patterns
  2. Impacts on Developing Countries of Changes in Consumption Patterns in Developed Countries
  3. Policy Measures to Change Consumption and Production Patterns
  4. Voluntary Commitments from Countries/Indicators for Measuring Changes in Consumption and Production Patterns
  5. Revision of the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection

Discussions on chapter 4 have already taken place at the national and international levels. They have covered definitions and concepts (e.g. eco-space, ecological footprints), policy strategies (e.g. eco-efficiency, Factor 4 and 10), and appropriate policy instruments. Participants in the discussions have been from business and industry, governments at all levels, international organisations, the academic community and NGOs. 

"Changing consumption and production patterns" has been the subject of discussion by the Commission at its first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh sessions. In the context of the multi-year programme of work adopted by the General Assembly for the Commission on Sustainable Development in 1997, it will continue to appear, as an "overriding issue," on the agenda of the CSD each year. 

The Task Manager for this issue is the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Division for Sustainable Development. 

Related Links

Go to Technology page

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Instruments for Change: Making Production and Consumption More Sustainable


Quick Links

The Marrakech Process Website

Sustainable Consumption and Production Initiatives Database

Sustainable public procurement

Indicators for consumption and production patterns

Decisions of the GA and the CSD



National reports

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24 August  2005