224. We recall the commitments made in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation on sustainable consumption and production and, in particular, the request in chapter 3 of the Plan of Implementation to encourage and promote the development of a 10 year framework of programmes. We recognize that fundamental changes in the way societies consume and produce are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development.
225. Countries reaffirm the commitments they have made to phase out harmful and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and undermine sustainable development. We invite others to consider rationalizing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by removing market distortions, including restructuring taxation and phasing out harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, with such policies taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries, with the aim of minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development and in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities.
226. We adopt the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns, as contained in document A/CONF.216/5, and highlight that the programmes included in the 10-year framework are voluntary. We invite the General Assembly, at its sixty-seventh session, to designate a Member State body to take any necessary steps to fully operationalize the framework.
Preparations for the 10-year review of progress achieved in the implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
The Commission on Sustainable Development decides to bring to the attention of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly the following recommendations:
(a) The Commission on Sustainable Development underscores the political importance of the forthcoming 10-year review of progress achieved since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The Commission stresses that the review should focus on the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, adopted by the nineteenth special session of the General Assembly in 1997 and other outcomes of the Conference. Agenda 21 should constitute the framework within which the other outcomes of the Conference are reviewed. Agenda 21 should also be the framework from within which new challenges and opportunities that have emerged since the Conference are addressed;
(b) The Commission stresses that Agenda 21 should not be renegotiated and that the review should identify measures for the further implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, including sources of funding;
(c) The Commission recommends that the review should focus on areas where further efforts are needed to implement Agenda 21 and other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and should result in action-oriented decisions and renewed political commitment and support for sustainable development;
(d) The Commission stresses the importance of early and effective preparations for the 2002 review and assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, to be carried out at the local, national, regional and international levels by Governments and the United Nations system, so as to ensure high-quality inputs to the review process. The Commission encourages effective contributions from, and involvement of, all major groups;
(e) While specific decisions on the preparatory process will be determined by the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session, the Commission invites early preparations at the local, national and regional levels which should commence immediately after the conclusion of the eighth session of the Commission. In this context, the Commission invites all Governments to undertake national review processes as early as possible. The national reports that have been prepared by Governments since 1992 on national implementation of Agenda 21, and to which major groups have contributed, could provide a fair basis for guiding the national preparatory processes;
(f) The Commission invites the United Nations Secretariat, working in close cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme, the regional commissions, and the secretariats of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development-related conventions as well as other relevant organizations, agencies and programmes within and outside the United Nations system, including international and regional financial institutions, to support preparatory activities, in particular at the national and regional levels, in a coordinated and mutually reinforcing way. The Commission, while allowing for the originality of regional contributions, has agreed that a certain uniformity is needed in regional preparatory processes. The Commission also underscores the importance of using the high-level intergovernmental processes that exist at the regional level;
(g) The Commission invites the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, in line with the Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme, to promote the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development in the United Nations system and to provide its views to the Commission at its tenth session as an important input to the preparatory process on the environmental aspects of the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development;
(h) The Commission requests the Secretary-General, in preparing his report on the 2002 review to be submitted to the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly in accordance with Assembly resolution 54/218 of 22 December 1999, to take fully into account the views expressed during the Commission?s high-level segment on preparations for the 10-year review of progress achieved since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the recommendations of the eighth session of the Commission, and to include in his report further information on specific activities and actions undertaken and planned in the United Nations system in support of the preparatory process;
(i) The Commission recommends that the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session give consideration to organizing the 2002 event at summit level and to holding it outside United Nations Headquarters, preferably in a developing country;
(j) The Commission also recommends that the General Assembly decide that the meetings of the tenth session of the Commission are to be transformed into an open-ended preparatory committee that would provide for the full and effective participation of all Governments. The Commission acting as the preparatory committee should undertake the comprehensive review and assessment of the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. It should identify major constraints hindering the implementation of Agenda 21 and propose specific time-bound measures to be undertaken, and institutional and financial requirements, and identify the sources of such support. The Commission invites all relevant United Nations organizations and the secretariats of Conference-related conventions to review and assess their respective programmes of work since the Conference and to report to the Commission at its tenth session on progress made in the implementation of sustainable development-related objectives. The comprehensive review and assessment of the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the Conference should also address ways of strengthening the institutional framework for sustainable development and define the future programme of work of the Commission;
(k) The Commission recommends that the General Assembly, in light of paragraph (j) above, invite the Economic and Social Council to decide that the first meeting of the tenth session of the Commission, to be held immediately after the closure of the ninth session of the Commission, in accordance with Council resolution 1997/63 of 25 July 1997, should be expanded, so that the Commission could thereby start its work as the preparatory committee for the 2002 event;
(l) The Commission stresses that the preparatory meetings and the 2002 event itself should be transparent and provide for effective participation and input from Governments, and regional and international organizations, including financial institutions, and for contributions from and active participation of major groups, consistent with the rules and regulations established by the United Nations for the participation of major groups in intergovernmental processes;
(m) The Commission recommends that necessary steps be taken to establish a trust fund and urges international and bilateral donors to support preparations for the 10-year review through voluntary contributions to the trust fund and to support participation of representatives from developing countries in the regional and international preparatory process and the 2002 event itself. The Commission encourages voluntary contributions to support the participation of major groups from developing countries in regional and international preparatory processes and the 2002 event itself;
(n) The Commission invites the Economic and Social Council to consider, at its substantive session of 2000, the reports requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 54/218 and submit its views to the Assembly at its fifty-fifth session;
(o) The Commission invites the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session to decide on the agenda, possible main themes, timing and venue of the 2002 event, the number of intergovernmental preparatory meetings and other organizational and procedural matters related to the 2002 review including the clarification of the term ?United Nations Conference on Environment and Development-related conventions? as referred to above, taking into account the views of the Commission, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme and the Economic and Social Council.
Decision 7/2. Changing consumption and production patterns
1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:
(a) Reaffirms the basis for action as called for in chapter 4 of Agenda 21;
(b) Bears in mind the statement of commitment adopted by the General Assembly
at its nineteenth special session on 27 June 1997;
(c) Takes fully into account that States have common but differentiated
responsibilities, as set forth in principle 7 of the Rio Declaration, and different levels of
development as well as national conditions and priorities;
(d) Reaffirms the objectives and policy measures elaborated in chapters 33 and 34
ofAgenda 21 in relation to financing and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies;
(e) Recognizes that the implementation of sustainable consumption and production
approaches suited to country-specific conditions can lead to reduced costs and improved
competitiveness as well as reduced environmental impacts.
2. The Commission decides on the measures set out below.
3. The principal goals of changing consumption and production patterns should be pursued
by all countries, with the developed countries taking the lead, in full accordance with Agenda
21 and paragraph 28 of the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, taking
into account the situation of developing countries adversely affected by the process, while
ensuring that all countries benefit from the process. Governments face a collective challenge
that requires reaffirmed commitments, strengthened cooperation and greater efforts towards
concrete action, taking into account that States have common but differentiated responsibilities
in accordance with principle 7 of the Rio Declaration. Governments, relevant international
organizations, the private sector and all other major groups as defined by Agenda 21 have
a role to play in changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns and need to
take action to this end. Special attention should be paid to unsustainable consumption patterns
among the richer segments in all countries, in particular in developed countries.
4. Developed countries should continue to take the lead in efforts to reverse unsustainable
trends in consumption and production, especially those that threaten the global environment.
Developing countries? priorities are to eradicate poverty, with international support for
achieving poverty reduction targets as agreed in United Nations conferences and summits,
and improve standards of living, including meeting basic needs and lessening the burden of
external debt, while taking all possible steps to avoid environmental damage and social
inequity, for the furtherance of sustainable development. Countries with economies in
transition face the challenge of integrating policies to make consumption and production
patterns more sustainable into the reform process, for which international support is also
needed. Developed countries should therefore fulfil the commitments undertaken to reach
the accepted United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product as soon as
possible. This will require a reversal in the current downward trend of overall official
development assistance (ODA) as a percentage of gross national product (GNP). Governments
should ensure that the basic needs of the people are met.
Priorities for future work
5. The Commission on Sustainable Development reaffirms that poverty eradication and
changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns remain the overriding issues
of the Commissions?s work programme. These two issues are to be integrated, as appropriate,
into the future themes of the work programme, in particular highlighting the linkages with
agriculture, financial resources, trade and investment in 2000, and energy and transport in
2001. In this regard, consideration should be given to developments in other relevant
international organizations and intergovernmental bodies. The two overriding issues should
also be given due regard at the comprehensive review at the Commission?s tenth session in
2002 in preparation for the 10-year review of progress made since UNCED.
6. Activities under the Commission?s international work programme on sustainable
consumption and production patterns, adopted at its third session in 1995, should continue.
In addition, the implementation of the international work programme will incorporate the
following four priority areas: (a) effective policy development and implementation; (b) natural
resource management and cleaner production; (c) globalization and its impacts on
consumption and production patterns; and (d) urbanization and its impacts on consumption
and production patterns. Progress on work and concrete results will be reported to the
Commission at its tenth session, in 2002.
Effective policy development and implementation
7. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership
with major groups, should:
(a) Further develop and implement policies for promoting sustainable consumption
and production patterns, including affordable, more eco-efficient consumption and production,
through disincentives for unsustainable practices and incentives for more sustainable
practices. A policy mix for this purpose could include regulations, economic and social
instruments, procurement policies and voluntary agreements and initiatives to be applied in
the light of country-specific conditions;
(b) In order to achieve sustainable consumption and production, promote measures
to internalize environmental costs and benefits in the price of goods and services, while
seeking to avoid potential negative effects for market access by developing countries,
particularlywith a view to encouraging the use of environmentally preferable products and
commodities. Governments should consider shifting the burden of taxation onto unsustainable
patterns of production and consumption; it is of vital importance to achieve such an
internalization of environmental costs. Such tax reforms should include a socially responsible
process of reduction and elimination of subsidies to environmentally harmful activities;
(c) Work to increase understanding of the role of advertising and mass media and
marketing forces in shaping consumption and production patterns, and enhance their role in
promoting sustainable development, inter alia, through voluntary initiatives and agreed
(d) Develop and implement public awareness programmes with a focus on consumer
education and access to information, in particular addressing youth, through, inter alia,
integrating the issue of sustainable consumption and production into teaching curricula at
all levels, as appropriate, and taking into account gender perspectives and the special concerns
of older people;
(e) Improve the quality of information regarding the environmental impact of products
and services, and to that end encourage the voluntary and transparent use of eco-labelling;
(f) Further develop, test and improve the preliminary set of indicators for sustainable
consumption and production developed under the Commission?s work programme, focusing
on the practical use of the indicators for policy development, taking into account the special
needs and conditions of developing countries;
(g) Ensure that implementation of measures for the above do not result in disguised
barriers to trade;
(h) Ensure that implementation ofmeasures for the above take fully into account the
ongoing deliberations in relevant international forums.
8. Developed countries should promote and facilitate the transfer of technical know-how,
environmentally sound technologies and capacity-building for implementation to developing
countries, in accordance with chapter 34 of Agenda 21, and also to countries with economies
in transition so as to foster more sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Furthermore, private-sector involvement should also be encouraged and promoted.
Natural resource management and cleaner production
9. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership
with major groups, should:
(a) Develop and apply policies to promote public and private investments in cleaner
production and the sustainable use of natural resources, including the transfer of
environmentally sound technologies to developing countries, in accordance with chapter 34
of Agenda 21, and also to countries with economies in transition;
(b) Collect and disseminate cost-effective best practice experiences in cleaner
production and environmental management;
(c) Undertake further analysis of the costs and benefits of demand-side management,
and where there is still insufficient information, of supply-side management, including cleaner
production and eco-efficiency, and assess the positive and negative impacts on developing
and developed countries and countries with economies in transition;
(d) Further develop and implement, as appropriate, cleaner production and ecoefficiency
policy approaches, through, inter alia, environmental management systems,
integrated product policies, life-cycle management, labelling schemes and performance
reporting, and in this context, taking fully into account the national circumstances and needs
of the developing countries as well as the relevant ongoing deliberations of the Committee
on Technical Barriers to Trade and the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World
Trade Organization (WTO). Best practices and results should be shared within the wider
community and used for capacity-building, in particular in small and medium-sized
enterprises, including in developing countries and countries with economies in transition;
(e) Engage industries and economic sectors, in both public and private sectors, and
all other major groups at the national and international levels, as appropriate, in activities
relating to sustainable consumption and production with the objective of developing optimal
strategies and/or programmes, including targets and timetables, at the appropriate levels for
more sustainable consumption and production, including cleaner production and affordable
10. The United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization should, inter alia, through their cleaner production centres,
enhance their support to enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, in
developing countries and countries with economies in transition, especially in the areas of
auditing and certification, loan applications and financing, and the marketing of their products
on international markets as well as dissemination of information on environmentally sound
technology and technical know-how.
11. Recognizing that the implementation of cleaner production and eco-efficiency
approaches can lead to reduced costs and improved competitiveness, as well as reduced
environmental impacts, business and industry should be encouraged to implement these
approaches as a contribution to the achievement of sustainable production.
Globalization and its impacts on consumption and production patterns
12. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership
with major groups, should:
(a) Undertake studies of the impacts of globalization, including both positive and
negative impacts of trade, investment, mass media, advertising and marketing in all countries,
in particular developing countries. The studies should examine ways and means to mitigate
negative impacts and use opportunities to promote more sustainable consumption and
production patterns and open and non-discriminatory trade;
(b) Undertake studies on the role of the financial sector in promoting sustainable
consumption and production, and further encourage voluntary initiatives suited to national
conditions for sustainable development by that sector;
(c) Increase their efforts to make policies on trade and policies on environment,
including those on sustainable consumption and production, mutually supportive, without
creating disguised barriers to trade;
(d) Study the benefits of traditional values and local cultures in promoting sustainable
Urbanization and its impacts on consumption and production patterns
13. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership
with major groups, while particularly taking into account the work of the Commission on
Human Settlements, should:
(a) Assess and address, in the context of sustainable development, the impacts of
urbanization, in particular those related to energy, transport, sanitation, waste management
and public health;
(b) Increase efforts to address the critical issues of fresh water and sanitation in human
settlements in developing countries through, inter alia, the transfer of environmentally sound
technologies and the provision of financial resources for implementation, as elaborated in
Agenda 21, as a priority of the international agenda on sustainable consumption and
(c) Assess and address the impacts of urbanization on economic, environmental and
social conditions. In-depth studies on the key determining factors of quality of life should be
undertaken and used to strengthen appropriate human settlement development strategies suited
to national conditions, in the context of urbanization.
11 General Assembly resolution S-19/2, annex.
12 New York, Oxford University Press, 1998.
14. Governments at all levels are encouraged to incorporate sustainable consumption and
production policies in city planning and management, and to report to the review exercise
to be conducted at the tenth session of the Commission.
15. Governments at all levels, the private sector and other major groups as defined in
Agenda 21 are urged to cooperate in developing waste collection systems and disposal
facilities, and developing programmes for prevention, minimization and recycling of waste,
to safeguard and improve the quality of life in human settlements and coastal regions in all
countries, especially in developing countries. Dissemination of positive results of the
implementation of various policy instruments suitable to the national conditions and needs
of developing countries can facilitate the wider application of such policies.
Co-Chairmen?s summary of the discussions on consumption and production
patterns held by the Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on Consumption and
Production Patterns and on Tourism at its meeting from 22 to 26 February 1999
1. The debate on changing consumption and production patterns was based on the report
of the Secretary-General entitled ?Comprehensive review of changing consumption and
production patterns?,10 in the context of chapter 4 of Agenda 21 and paragraph 28 of the
Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21.11
2. Many delegations from developing and developed countries and countries with
economies in transition described activities in their countries promoting sustainable
consumption and production patterns. Recent meetings that provided useful contributions
to the debate were mentioned, including a workshop at Kabelvåg, Norway, on the theme
?Consumption in a sustainable world?, hosted by Norway in June 1998, and a conference on
the theme ?Sustainable consumption patterns: trends and traditions in East Asia?, hosted by
the Republic ofKorea in January 1999, in cooperation with the United Nations Division for
Sustainable Development, and co-sponsored by Sweden and Norway. A number of delegations
welcomed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development
Report, 1998,12 with its focus on consumption and human development, as a contribution to
3. Many delegations stated that unsustainable consumption and production patterns include
both adverse environmental impacts arising from the excess consumption of natural resources,
particularly in the developed countries, and unemployment, poverty and underconsumption
of basic goods and services, particularly in developing countries. They felt it would be useful
to have a coordinated programme of national and regional studies concerning destructive
patterns of consumption and production, notably in the areas of energy use, transport of waste
products and use of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, to assess their
sustainability. It was also considered important to ensure a sustainable development agenda
for energy that would cover all types of energy and address economic, social and
4. Many countries stated that achieving sustainable development required a transition to
sustainable patterns of production and consumption, particularly in industrialized countries.
It was noted that Governments face a collective challenge to strengthen cooperation and make
greater efforts towards concrete action, taking into account the principle of common but
5. Many delegations stated that the biggest challenge for industrialized countries was to
minimize the negative effects of consumption and production and to assist developing
countries and countries with economies in transition in their efforts. Industrialized countries
must therefore continue to take the lead in finding ways to change unsustainable consumption
and production patterns.
6. Many delegations felt that the work programme on changing consumption and
production patterns as adopted by the Commission at its third session should be implemented
and further developed.
7. Many delegations emphasized that consumption and production patterns, together with
poverty, are overriding issues for the Commission for the period 1998?2002. The need to
change consumption and production patterns towards sustainable development should
therefore be addressed in the context of the themes for each session of the Commission, in
particular with respect to agriculture in 2000 and energy and transport in 2001.
8. Many delegations stated that changing consumption and production patterns to ensure
sustainability should not imply reductions in the quality of life or living standards and should
ensure that the basic needs of all people are met.
9. Some delegations noted that increases in consumption in recent decades have improved
the welfare of large numbers of people in the world. However, there are enormous, and in
many cases widening, disparities in consumption between and within countries. Increased
consumption has also, in many cases, resulted in the undermining of the sustainability of
development through environmental degradation and resource depletion. The most severe
environmental impacts are being felt in the poorest regions of the world.
10. Many delegations stated that Governments should ensure minimum standards of
consumption for poor people, with particular attention to nutrition, literacy and education,
health care, clean drinking water, sanitation and shelter. Improving opportunities for
productive employment, particularly in rural areas of developing countries, could contribute
to this objective. It was noted that rural communities in developing countries where access
to electricity was prohibitively expensive could be supplied with solar energy, thus improving
living standards and environmental conditions.
11. One delegation noted that its country had increased consumption in recent decades while
reducing pollution through measures such as increased energy and resource efficiency,
increased reuse and recycling, increased durability of goods, and improved management of
chemicals and waste. Nonetheless, it noted that much more needed to be done to promote
environmentally sound and sustainable consumption and production practices.
12. Another delegation noted that unsustainable consumption and production patterns,
particularly in developed countries, have produced global environmental degradation,
including depletion of fish stocks, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, ozone depletion and the
steady accumulation of greenhouse gases.
13. Some delegations stated that a variety of policy instruments should be used to promote
sustainable consumption and production patterns, including regulations, economic incentives,
ecological tax reform, information and education. It was noted that further work was needed
on assessing the effectiveness of policy instruments in providing economic, environmental
and social benefits. Further studywas also needed to assess the benefits and costs of phasing
out environmentally harmful subsidies and introducing environmental taxes and charges more
widely, with measures to assist vulnerable groups and enterprises that may be adversely
affected. It was proposed that the role of the financial services sector in facilitating
environmentally and socially responsible investments deserved further study and analysis.
14. Some delegations stated that development of indicators to measure changes in
consumption and production patterns was important for identifying areas where action is
needed and assessing the effectiveness of policy measures. It was also stated that, in
developing such indicators, consideration must be given to the situation of developing
countries, in particular to the satisfaction of basic needs, information availability and
15. One delegation stated that information dissemination measures were sometimes
insufficient and that a shift to ?social system? measures was required.
16. Some delegations stated that Governments should ensure cleaner production and ecoefficiency
in their own operations and procurement, and introduce environmental management
systems. It was noted that the 1996 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) Council Recommendation on Improving the Environmental Performance of
Governments and the Recommendation on Improving the Environmental Performance of
OECD were important contributions to this objective.
17. Some delegations noted that sustainable production and consumption, particularly with
respect to fossil fuel consumption and its links to climate change and sea-level rise, were of
particular concern to small island developing States. Other delegations were of the view that
fossil fuel consumption was not the conclusive cause of climate change.
18. Some delegations stated that further efforts were needed to improve access to
international markets for products from least developed countries in order to promote
sustainable consumption and production in those countries.
19. One delegation stated that work in the area of computer modelling of consumption and
production trends should reflect specific consumption and production trends at subregional
and national levels. Such computer models should be used to examine the possible impacts
of changes in policy.
20. Many delegations stated that progress towards more sustainable consumption and
production, and towards the implementation of the Commission?s work programme, would
require cooperation among Governments, business and industry, non-governmental
organizations and international organizations. Public-private partnerships should be promoted
towards this objective.
21. In addition to continuing work on the existing work programme, delegations proposed
new priorities and new areas of work as described below.
Natural resource management and cleaner production
22. Many delegations stated that developed countries should encourage the establishment
of best practices in cleaner production and environmental management. Developed countries
and international organizations should make further efforts towards capacity-building and
technology transfer to industrial sectors in developing countries and countries with economies
23. Many delegations stated that increased efforts were needed to promote and facilitate
the transfer of environmentally sound technologies, in combination with financial resources,
to developing countries and countries with economies in transition and provide them with
technical assistance in support of their national capacity-building programmes. They looked
forward to developed countries? meeting their commitments to ODA, leading to more tangible
and visible results.
24. Some delegations stated that cleaner production and eco-efficiency, based on improved
skills, technologies and efficient use of energy and resources, were essential to sustainable
development in both developed and developing countries. In many cases, it was noted, cleaner
production provided large economic benefits as well as environmental benefits. It was also
noted, however, that these efficiency improvements have generally been outweighed by
increased volumes of production and consumption.
25. Some delegations supported the idea of developing national cleaner production and ecoefficiency
strategies and setting targets for eco-efficiency adapted to particular sectors,
products and processes. Governments, in partnership with industry, should develop and
implement comprehensive policy packages including cleaner production, eco-efficiency, lifecycle
management, product stewardship and pollution prevention. The development and
application of integrated product policies was seen as a useful approach to this objective.
26. Many delegations stated that Governments should encourage business and industry to
adopt environmental management systems and to publish information on the environmental
impacts of their activities.Where possible, they should be encouraged to provide information
on the environmental impacts of their goods and services, including the impacts of
distribution, use and disposal, as well as production processes.
27. Some delegations stated that business and industry could make important contributions
to making consumption and production more sustainable by developing and adopting cleaner
production technologies, environmental best practices, environmental management systems,
codes of conduct, voluntary guidelines and negotiated agreements. Governments should
promote dialogue and partnership with business and industry towards this objective.
28. Some delegations stated that increased research and investment are required to develop
more sustainable use of key resources in such areas as energy, transport and water, with a
view to improving access for poor people and conserving resources. It was noted that some
Governments were providing financial support for science and technology for sustainability
in such areas as energy and agriculture, and for incentives for consumers to improve energy
efficiency in homes and transportation.
29. Some delegations stated that regulations and economic incentives, including progressive
internalization of environmental costs, should be used to promote cleaner production and ecoefficiency.
Many small and medium-sized enterprises would need support from government
and other members of industry in meeting those objectives.
30. Many delegations were of the view that economic instruments and the internalization
of environmental costs might constitute a trade restriction and be counter-productive,
specifically in regard to the already limited comparative advantages of developing countries,
and therefore should be avoided in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated
31. Some delegations stated that voluntary initiatives by the private sector, where
appropriate in cooperation with government and non-governmental organizations, could also
contribute to changing consumption and production patterns. It was noted that the Commission
secretariat, in consultation with other stakeholders, was organizing a multi-stakeholder experts
workshop, to be hosted by Canada in March 1999, to identify elements for a review of
voluntary initiatives and agreements and to report to the Commission.
32. Many delegations stated that the UNEP/UNIDO cleaner production centres should
provide additional support to enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises,
in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, for introducing cleaner
production technologies, financing technology transfer and undertaking capacity-building
for environmental management, auditing and certification.
33. Some delegations welcomed the International Declaration on Cleaner Production
launched by UNEP in October 1998 and invited Governments that had not already done so
to sign the Declaration.
Impact of globalization on consumption and production patterns
34. Many delegations noted that consumption and production patterns in developed
countries strongly influenced patterns in developing countries, particularly in the context of
globalization and trade liberalization. This occurred not only through trade and investment,
but also through communication, mass media, advertising and marketing. They stressed that
consumption and production patterns in developed countries should not be used to create
technical barriers to trade.
35. Some delegations stated that further efforts should be made to identify areas in which
changing consumption patterns in developed countries offer opportunities for enterprises in
developing countries. It was noted that some developing-country production processes are
more environmentally friendly than processes in developed countries.
36. Many delegations stated that trade pressure from developed countries had also
contributed to unsustainable consumption practices in developing countries. For example,
when developed countries seek, through various means, lower taxes on their exports to
developing countries, such as luxury cars, energy-wasting home appliances and other
expensive products, they affect the consumption patterns of developing countries. Those
delegations recommended that developed countries take steps to harmonize their policies on
trade and sustainable development, with particular reference to avoiding the tendency to
export unsustainable consumption and production patterns. It was suggested that countries
could consider applying environmental taxes on particular luxury and disposable goods that
have negative environmental impacts.
37. Some delegations stated that improvements in eco-efficiency would be beneficial to
all countries and that action to promote cleaner production and eco-efficiency should be
intensified, but that there might be some negative side effects for countries with a high
economic dependence on exports of natural resources.
38. Some delegations noted that economic and social development in oil exporting countries
could be adversely affected by measures such as energy taxes and that consideration should
be given to the situation of those countries.
39. One delegation stressed the importance of ensuring coherence between multilateral
agreements and instruments that address environmental and social standards, and the
multilateral trade rules.
40. Many delegations proposed that the role of communications, media and advertising in
promoting unsustainable consumption and production patterns and in disseminating
consumption and production patterns internationally should be studied. They suggested that
agreed guidelines might be considered.
41. Many delegations stated that further efforts are urgently needed to address problems
related to transportation and health in human settlements in developing countries, in particular
problems of air pollution and traffic congestion. New approaches to urban planning, land-use
management and public transportation were needed to address these problems in a
42. Many delegations noted that waste collection and disposal was a major environmental
issue in both developing and developed countries. They noted a need for research and
development in waste management systems and for developed-country support in introducing
such systems into developing countries. It was stated that waste prevention through cleaner
production, reductions in packaging, recycling and reuse, and consumer education and
information could make a major contribution to waste management. International exchange
of best practices in those areas would be of major importance.
43. Many delegations stated that urban infrastructure for clean drinking water and sanitation
in developing countries should be a priority.
44. Many delegations stated that developed-country expertise, technology and financial
resources could help in addressing the problems of urban infrastructure development, waste
management and comprehensive urban planning in developing countries.
45. Some delegations noted that urban planning and infrastructure development were key
determinants of long-term patterns of consumption and production, as they impose constraints
on changes in patterns of transportation and consumption of energy, water and materials.
Sustainability considerations should be integrated into land-use planning and urban
Consumer information and education and social values
46. Some delegations stated that sustainable consumption and production required that
technology improvements be complemented by changes in lifestyles and new perceptions of
welfare, in particular among affluent consumers in all countries. This required that consumers
be active participants in sustainable development efforts.
47. Some delegations stated that information on sustainable consumption and production
should be integrated into educational curricula at all levels of education, particularly into
48. Some delegations stated that eco-labelling and fair trade labelling could assist
consumers in taking environmental and social issues into account in their consumption. Such
measures, however, should not be disguised barriers to trade. Many delegations cautioned
that the concept of eco-labelling and related issues were still under discussion in the
Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization.
49. One delegation stressed that issues related to eco-labelling should focus only on product
characteristics, taking due consideration of discussions in other multilateral forums, such as
the World Trade Organization Committee on Trade and Environment, in order to avoid
disguised barriers to trade.
50. Some delegations stated that the use of economic policy instruments, including
internalization of environmental and social costs, and the phasing out of environmentally
harmful subsidies, were also essential in promoting consumer choices that take into account
the impact on sustainable development.Many delegations questioned the idea of ?social costs?
and expressed preference for a reference instead to the social impacts of economic policy
51. Some delegations stated that further research was needed on consumer behaviour,
including the choices made bywomen, men and children, and of the effect of advertising and
the media. The Oxford-based International Commission on Sustainability which is being
General Assembly 13 resolution 39/248 of 9 April 1985, annex.
14 Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3?14
June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions Adopted by the Conference (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution 1, annex II.
15 See United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on Biological Diversity (Environment Law
and Institution Programme Activity Centre), June 1992.
established to look at the social-cultural dimensions that shape consumption and production
patterns should provide a valuable contribution to further consideration of this issue.
52. Some delegations stated that consideration should be given to how elements of
traditional knowledge, culture, practices and lifestyles can be combined with modern
approaches to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. Efforts in this area
in East Asia should take into account the work of the conference on the theme ?Sustainable
consumption patterns: trends and traditions in East Asia?, held in the Republic of Korea in
53. Many delegations welcomed the agreement in informal consultations on new elements
on sustainable consumption for inclusion in the United Nations guidelines for consumer
54. Some delegations stated that consumer information and education were essential for
enabling consumers to make informed choices. Consumers should be provided with
information on the impacts of consumer behaviour on the environment, health, quality of life
and poverty, and with information on alternative consumption possibilities. Governments,
in partnership with the business community, consumer organizations and other organizations
of civil society, should promote public availability of such information. It was noted that
public participation in policy-making at all levels and transparent legislative and regulatory
process promote public support of, and participation in, sustainable production and
consumption efforts. Public support was needed to strengthen the work of consumer
organizations in these areas.
4. Changing production and consumption patterns
31. The Commission affirms that while poverty results in certain kinds of
environmental stress, the major cause of the continued deterioration of the
global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production,
particularly in industrialized countries, which is a matter of grave concern,
aggravating poverty and imbalances. The Commission thus reaffirms the need to
change the patterns of consumption and production that are detrimental to
sustainable development. In the context of common but differentiated
responsibilities in this field, the developed countries bear a special
responsibility and have agreed to take the lead by taking effective measures for
change in their own countries. In that context, the Commission reiterates that
national authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of
environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, as appropriate, taking
into account the polluter-pays principle.
32. The Commission, taking into account Agenda 21, in particular chapter 4,
entitled "Changing consumption patterns", welcomes the recent increase in
activities and efforts at the local, national, and international levels aimed at
changing the prevailing unsustainable production and consumption patterns. The
Commission recognizes that Governments should continue to improve their
decision-making so as to integrate environmental, economic and social
considerations, which will involve the use of a range of different policy
approaches and instruments. The Commission notes the initiative taken by the
Government of Norway in hosting the Oslo Ministerial Roundtable Conference on
Sustainable Production and Consumption (6-10 February 1995) and its contribution
to underlining the importance of focusing on demand-side issues as a complement
to the traditional supply-side approach. The Commission also notes the inputs
provided to the Oslo Conference by various sources, including the Zeist Workshop
on Facilities for a Sustainable Household (23-25 January 1995), organized by the
Government of the Netherlands, and the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology/Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Experts
Seminar on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 18-20 December 1994).
33. In welcoming the inter-sessional work undertaken by Governments, the
Commission reaffirms the need for additional substantial efforts and real
progress by States, in particular the developed countries, in changing their
unsustainable production and consumption patterns, and in assisting in
redressing the present imbalances obtaining between industrialized and
developing nations. It welcomes further contributions from the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UNEP and other international
organizations, such as OECD, in this area.
34. The Commission notes with concern the significant gaps in per capita income
between developing and developed countries and the continuing current imbalances
in the global patterns of consumption and production. The Commission notes also
with concern that the growing recognition of the need to address patterns of
production and consumption has not yet been matched by a full understanding of
the implications of such patterns on economic, social and environmental
conditions at the local, national and global levels. In order to most
effectively design and implement public policies consistent with the earth?s
carrying capacity, more needs to be known about the role of current and
projected consumption and production patterns in relation to environmental
quality, economic growth and population dynamics. Thus, sustainability,
including equity concerns, should continue to be addressed by Governments, the
Commission, and other forums in their deliberations on how changing production
and consumption patterns will affect environmental, social and economic
conditions in and among countries at all levels of development.
35. The Commission urges Governments at all levels, business and industry, and
consumers to intensify efforts at reducing the energy and material intensities
of production and consumption, through improving energy efficiency, taking
energy-saving measures, technological innovations and transfer, increased waste
recovery, and reusing and recycling of materials. The Commission stresses that
all countries have, and should exploit, opportunities for further improving
efficiency in resource consumption and for reducing environmentally harmful
by-products of current consumption and production patterns in accordance with
national priorities and international agreements, for example, by promoting the
use of renewable energy sources. In this context, taking into account the
particular needs and conditions of developing countries, and based on the
principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the Commission urges
developed countries to intensify effort to encourage the transfer of appropriate
technologies to developing countries to assist them in such efforts.
36. The Commission notes that the above-mentioned Oslo Conference, which
focused on consumption and production patterns in the developed countries,
highlighted the demand-side and supply-side issues as deserving of equal
emphasis and referred to the life-cycle approach to assessing the environmental,
social and economic impacts associated with unsustainable production and
consumption patterns. To this end, the Commission emphasizes the responsibility
shared by all stakeholders in society. Governments should provide an overall
framework, including the regulations, economic incentives and infrastructure
required to create the necessary conditions and facilities for business,
industry and households to move towards sustainable production and consumption
patterns. Business and industry in developed countries should fulfil their
responsibility for managing the life-cycle impact of the goods and services that
they supply, and are encouraged to provide information on the environmental and
health effects arising from the production and consumption of their products.
Households, particularly in developed countries, should adopt sustainable
consumption habits and lifestyles. In this regard, public awareness campaigns,
education and community-based voluntary action could contribute to fostering
changes in lifestyles.
37. The Commission reaffirms that Governments themselves also play a role in
consumption, particularly in countries where the public sector plays a large
role in the economy and can have a considerable influence on both corporate
decisions and public perceptions. Governments should therefore review the
purchasing policies of their agencies and departments so that they may improve,
where possible, the environmental content of government procurement policies,
without prejudice to international trade principles. Governments and
intergovernmental organizations, through appropriate mechanisms, may exchange
information and experiences consistent with national laws and regulations in the
area of their procurement policies.
38. The Commission takes note of the lack of information identified in the
report of the Secretary-General on changing consumption and production patterns
(E/CN.17/1995/13) and other documents, and calls on Governments, international
organizations, legislative bodies, research and scientific institutions,
business and industry, and consumer organizations and other non-governmental
organizations to join in concerted efforts to provide comprehensive information
on the status of, and changes and projected trends in, the environment,
ecosystems and the natural resources base at the national, regional and global
levels. At the product level, while the Commission recognizes the need to
reaffirm the importance of informing consumers about any environmental and
health effects arising from the production and consumption of a given product,
it notes that such information should not be used as a disguise for
protectionist trade measures.
39. Given the long time-frame in which the interactions of economic activities
and the environment take place, the Commission reiterates the need for launching
medium- and long-term studies to monitor and track the evolution of production
and consumption patterns as well as associated environmental, social and
economic impacts, both within and among nations. Such studies should cover
technological innovation and transfer, economic growth and development, and
demographic factors. They should produce quantifiable and measurable indicators
so as to facilitate policy analysis and debate on relevant issues and trends.
In undertaking these studies, attention should be paid to the various effects,
including the potential trade effects and in particular the effects on
developing countries and countries with economies in transition, of new measures
and policy stances to be adopted in promoting sustainable production and
40. The Commission calls for the promotion of internalization of environmental
costs, taking into account the polluter-pays principle, with due regard to the
public interest and without distorting international trade and investment. In
this regard, it welcomes progress made so far, including in countries with
economies in transition and developing countries, in further analysing, adapting
and applying various measures and policy instruments designed to internalize
environmental externalities. The Commission recognizes that command-and-control
measures and social and economic instruments all have their role to play in
changing production and consumption patterns. Governments should take into
account local and national conditions in designing and implementing such
instruments. In the long run, economic and other market-based instruments are
likely to be more cost-effective in bringing about sustained changes in producer
and consumer behaviour. In this regard, the Commission invites Governments to
consider introducing economic measures, including tax and subsidies reform
designed to reduce negative environmental impacts and support employment.
41. The Commission regards natural resource accounting as a valuable tool for
the comprehensive full-cost pricing of resource use, and calls upon Governments
and international organizations to promote efforts aimed at integrating natural
resource accounting into standard systems of national accounts. The Commission
welcomes pilot projects launched by United Nations agencies in this area and
urges Governments, as appropriate, to give full support to these activities.
42. The Commission recognizes the international dimensions of national efforts
to change consumption and production patterns within the context of common but
differentiated responsibilities. The Commission emphasizes that strengthened
international cooperation in harmonizing criteria for the setting of voluntary
product standards, with due regard to the specific environmental, social and
economic conditions in developing producer/exporting countries, should take into
account concerns about market access and the competitiveness of products and
services. In this regard, the Commission calls upon Governments to intensify
efforts to encourage the transfer of appropriate technology.
43. The Commission also recognizes the wide scope and multiplicity of the
issues related to consumption and production patterns. The Commission stresses
the importance of and encourages the exchange of information at all levels on
experience in changing production and consumption patterns.
44. The Commission welcomes in this regard the initiative of the Republic of
Korea to organize a workshop on policy measures for changing consumption
patterns. Further reviews of country experiences might be initiated by the
Commission on Sustainable Development in collaboration with relevant United
Nations bodies, including the regional commissions, and other international
45. Taking into account the preceding paragraphs, the Commission adopts for its
future work on changing production and consumption patterns the following work
A. Identifying the policy implications of projected trends in consumption
and production patterns
The Commission will review periodic reports containing long-term
projections of the world economy with a time-horizon of up to 40 years. Such
projections should cover, inter alia, resource consumption and associated
environmental, social and economic impacts, with particular reference to
developing countries? efforts at meeting basic needs, eradicating poverty and
achieving economic growth. Such studies should, inter alia, build upon the
existing work of the United Nations system and other international
organizations, and should make use of global models designed to project a number
of indicators on environmental stress and its impact on the environment and
B. Assessing the impact on developing countries, especially the least
developed countries and small island developing States, of changes
in consumption and production in developed countries
The Commission will review periodic reports on the economic, social and
environmental impacts, particularly on developing countries, of world-wide
changes in consumption and production patterns. Such reports should assess,
inter alia, the additional trade opportunities open to developing countries
arising from the increasing demand for environmentally sound products in
developed countries, as well as possible adverse impacts on exports from
developing countries. The reports should also examine the prospects of
increasing technology transfer through enhanced foreign direct investment.
C. Evaluating the effectiveness of policy measures intended to change
consumption and production patterns, such as command-and-control,
economic and social instruments, government procurement policies
The Commission will review reports on the effectiveness of policy measures
in changing consumption and production patterns, for example, through the
internalization of environmental costs. The reports should evaluate the
performance of command-and-control, social and economic instruments in countryspecific
situations with a view to facilitating a better understanding of the
policy options that are available to policy makers in all countries.
D. Eliciting timebound voluntary commitment from countries to make
measurable progress on those sustainable development goals that
have an especially high priority at the national level
The Commission will review a synthesis of national information to assess
progress in fulfilling timebound commitments by Governments concerned on a
voluntary basis. In this context, the Commission urges Governments and other
stakeholders to use the report of the Oslo Ministerial Roundtable Conference on
Sustainable Production and Consumption, entitled "Elements for an international
work programme on sustainable production and consumption", as a basis for
actions and for discussion in suitable forums, and thereafter to report to the
Commission on the implementation of those recommendations considered most
appropriate, in time for consideration by the Commission at its fifth session,
E. Revision of the guidelines for consumer protection
The Commission recommends that the guidelines for consumer protection
adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 39/248 of 9 April 1985 be
expanded to include guidelines for sustainable consumption patterns.
46. The Commission urges Governments, the various organizations and bodies of
the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, the
secretariats of the various international conventions, and major groups,
particularly local authorities, business and industry, to undertake specific
elements of the Commission?s work programme on changing production and
consumption patterns. The Commission stresses the importance of exchanging
country experiences. The Commission also notes with appreciation ongoing OECD
work on sustainable production and consumption, and encourages OECD to submit
the results of its work in this area to the Commission as soon as possible. The
Commission recommends the convening of an expert meeting on sustainable
production and consumption patterns, with the widest possible participation and
hosted by interested Governments, to be held before its next substantive session
with a view to collecting information, ideas and suggestions for the follow-up
of this work.
5. Changing consumption and production patterns
43. With UNCED, the issue of changing consumption patterns was for the first
time formally placed on the agenda for multilateral negotiations. The
Commission reaffirms the need to change those contemporary patterns of
consumption and production which are detrimental to sustainable development. In
the context of differentiated responsibilities in this field, developed
countries bear special responsibility and should take the lead by taking
effective measures for change in their own countries.
44. The Commission recognizes that the main economic agents whose behaviour as
producers or consumers should be the target of policy measures are individual
households, business and industry, and Governments, especially in developed
countries. Policies and measures to change production and consumption patterns
should be predictable for producers and consumers and should be supportive of
sustainable development. The price of a product should be related to its lifecycle
costs. Prevention of pollution which results in cost reduction should
also be recognized and encouraged with appropriate incentives. The Commission
urges national authorities to endeavour to promote the internalization of
environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the
approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution,
with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international
trade and investment. Where vulnerable groups may already be affected by
measures taken for environmental purposes, appropriate offsetting measures
should be introduced.
45. Attention should be given to the special situation and needs of developing
countries; for them, eradicating poverty and meeting basic human needs in the
process of pursuing sustainable development are overriding priorities.
46. The Commission recognizes, at the same time, that all countries should
derive immediate and long-term benefits from establishing and maintaining more
sustainable consumption and production patterns.
47. The Commission recommends that measures and steps to change consumption and
production patterns should be pursued, especially in developed countries,
inter alia, by appropriate instruments, public awareness campaigns, adequate
guidance in the field of advertising, education, information and advice for the
purposes of: (a) conserving energy and using renewable sources of energy;
(b) making greater use of public transport; (c) minimizing recycling and reusing
waste; (d) reducing the quantity of packaging; (e) encouraging consumption of
products produced by more environmentally sound processes and the development of
environmentally sound products; (f) reducing the amount of water wasted; and
(g) reducing environmentally harmful substances in products.
48. After reviewing which measures could be most cost-effective in changing
behaviour, in particular, economic instruments, the Commission notes that
despite the growing interest in such instruments and their increasing use,
especially in developed countries, there is not as yet sufficient quantitative
evidence to evaluate adequately the effectiveness of their use in practice. The
Commission notes further that experience in developed countries with such
instruments suggests a number of tentative conclusions, as described in the
report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.17/1994/2), which need to be explored
49. The Commission notes ongoing efforts to introduce mechanisms, particularly
in developed countries, to internalize external costs, especially regarding all
50. In order to facilitate a better understanding of the interrelationship
among consumption patterns, production structures and techniques, economic
growth, employment, population dynamics and environmental stress, the Commission
calls on Government to: (a) intensify and expand their efforts to collect
relevant data at the national and subnational levels and (b) undertake
projections and prospective studies so as to better appreciate the consequences
of present policy stances and the possible impact of changing those policies.
51. The Commission notes the work undertaken within and outside the United
Nations system that could contribute to developing a solid conceptual framework
in this field. In this context, the Commission further notes that OECD is
working actively on analysing the process of bringing about changes in
consumption and production patterns. This analysis is intended to contribute to
assessing current patterns and trends and to addressing the likely sectoral,
economic and environmental impacts of significant changes in consumption and
production patterns in OECD countries. The Commission calls on organizations
within and outside the United Nations system, including OECD, to continue their
useful work in this area, taking into account the guidelines in chapter 4 of
Agenda 21, as well as in the present decision.
52. The Commission urges Governments and the private sector to consider
measures to achieve the following objectives: (a) encouraging greater
efficiency in the use of energy and resources; (b) minimizing waste;
(c) assisting individuals and households to make environmentally sound
purchasing decisions; (d) exercising leadership through government purchasing;
(e) moving towards environmentally sound pricing, and (f) reinforcing values
that support sustainable consumption and production. In this connection,
exchange of experience should be encouraged.
53. The Commission recommends that Governments and relevant international
organizations undertake national and regional studies of environmental, social
and economic trends and damage from present patterns of consumption and
production to assess their sustainability and their repercussions on other
countries, particularly developing countries, and on the world economy. The
results of these studies should help Governments set national priorities to
address the most damaging effects of unsustainable consumption patterns and to
assist developing countries to this effect.
54. It urges Governments to consider using pricing policies to internalize the
costs of risk and damage to the environment, to a greater or lesser extent,
depending on the varying circumstances of developed and developing countries and
countries with economies in transition and to consider reporting on the action
taken to the Commission on Sustainable Development in 1997.
55. It invites the United Nations system, as well as regional and international
organizations, to assess and report on how they may promote sustainable
consumption and production patterns through their own activities.
56. The Commission calls upon the Secretary-General to request the views of
Governments in order to formulate elements of a possible work programme for
sustainable consumption and production patterns by the third session of the
Commission on Sustainable Development, in 1995. Preparatory work could include
the inter-sessional organization of workshops and other forms of informationexchange
on the relative effectiveness of a spectrum of instruments for changing
unsustainable consumption and production patterns in all groups of countries.
This should be done in continuous consultation with representatives from
non-governmental organizations, business and industry from all regions.
57. The Commission requests the Secretary-General to prepare an analytical
report on the use of economic instruments and other policy measures for changing
consumption patterns in developed countries, with special reference to the
sectoral issues on the agenda of the Commission at its third session, as an
input to the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Finance.