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You are here: Home / News / Time to step up efforts towards sustainable consumption and production, says a new report

Time to step up efforts towards sustainable consumption and production, says a new report

Housing, food and drink, and mobility have the greatest environmental impact over their lifecycle, the EEA and the European Commission have shown. This concern brought together European governments, researchers, NGOs and business under the same roof during a conference held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, back in September last year.

The recommendations of the event have now been published: the report 'Time for action — towards sustainable consumption and production in Europe', launched today, is the result of a joint initiative of the EEA, the Slovenian Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and the UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP).

The upcoming EU Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) — possibly combined with an Action Plan on Sustainable Industrial Policies — should include 'clear sustainability targets' according to the recommendations developed by the participants of the conference. Concrete steps to get the prices right and a directive on green public procurement were additional top-priority recommendations identified by the experts ahead of the EU Action Plan.

Internalising costs through environmental fiscal reforms, identifying models and examples of sustainable living and developing long term visions of sustainable consumption and production were the top-priority recommendations identified for national authorities, in cooperation with business and civil society.

At the global level, participants advocated for the United Nations within its Marrakech Process (1) to encourage national governments to integrate sustainable consumption and production objectives into ministries beyond environment. The conference also singled out the need to develop a world-wide communication strategy to promote sustainable consumption and production and to involve also private financial institutions.

The EEA is already making its contribution: responding to the recommendations, the Agency is for example assessing worldwide impacts from consumption in Europe through integrated economic and environmental accounting, identifying indicators of sustainable consumption and production, and analysing the factors driving consumption change.

Note

  1. The 'Marrakech Process' is a global UN initiative to support regional and national actions to promote the shift towards sustainable consumption and production patterns.

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