Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Consumption International calls on Rio+20 to implement UN guidelines on sustainable consumption

By Consumers International

Consumers International (CI) has joined a host of other NGOs, coalitions and pressure groups in submitting its recommendations on sustainable development to Rio+20. This 'Zero Draft' consultation is viewed by many as a key part in the processes of influencing any agreement that can be reached at next June's UN Earth Summit in Rio.

Drawing on two decades of work of sustainable development, CI is calling on the Rio+20 process to put consumers and consumption patterns at the heart of decision-making on sustainable development.

CI believes the rights and responsibilities of consumers can and must play a pivotal role in making this great leap to a sustainable future. What and how we consume must be a cornerstone of the transition to a green economy that puts human well-being and social equity at its heart, while progressively reducing our individual and collective impact on the environment.

To this end, CI wants to see the following agreed at Rio+20:

1. An explicit commitment to measures that will support sustainable consumption, including the full implementation of section G of the UN guidelines for consumer protection.

Secured by CI in 1999, section G of the UN guidelines remains a key principle of the consumer movements fight for more sustainable modes of production and consumption:

"Governments, in partnership with business and relevant organizations of civil society, should develop and implement strategies that promote sustainable consumption through a mix of policies that could include regulations; economic and social instruments; sectorial policies in such areas as land use, transport, energy, and housing; information programmes to raise awareness of the impact of consumption patterns; removal of subsidies that promote unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; and promotion of sector-specific environmental management best practices".

2. Support for, and endorsement of, an ambitious 10-Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP) on Sustainable Consumption and Production.

In 2002, governments at the Johannesburg summit called for the development of a 10-year framework of programmes in support of regional and national initiatives to accelerate the shift towards sustainable patterns of consumption and production. CI has been working as part of the Marrakech Process on developing the framework and now wants to see the programme implemented in a systematic and integrated manner with the proper involvement of national consumer organisations.

Read the full CI submission from here

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