Addressing Sustainable Consumption in the Global Climate Change Agenda

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Kulturgeografiska institutionen

Author: Emma Stålmarck; [2010]

Keywords: ;


This thesis explores a framework for understanding why sustainable consumption could be important to address further in future development of the UN climate change agenda, which has been developed under the Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC). The ultimate objective of the Convention, and objectives concerning equity in relation to developing country needs, have been the target (and the normative warrant) of the study. A multidisciplinary perspective related to policy analysis has been used as a theoretical and methodological research framework. This investigation has focused on four main areas; the policy content of the UNFCCC and some proceeding documents, policy content on sustainable development which have been adopted in UN fora, summaries of research results on greenhouse gas emission trends and global footprints, and lastly, material which convey official standpoints of developing and developed country representatives. A conclusion drawn from this study is that a consumption perspective of sustainable development is found in UN policies on sustainable development, but is largely missing in the current climate change agenda. A second conclusion is that there is a lot of research which back up the thought that a consumption perspective is important in addition to a production perspective. This also seems to be a conclusion which in well established in parts of the UN such as the UNEP, and incorporated in key documents on sustainable development. A third conclusion is that there are reasons to believe that developed country parties will try to downplay a focus on consumption. In total these are the main points which are presented as a framework for understanding why a greater inclusion of sustainable consumption in the agenda could be important.

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