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Consumption Reduction: A Challenge For Behaviour Change in The Future

George Cosmin Tanase

Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, 2022, vol. 13, issue 4, 32-39

Abstract: The need to shift the economies and societies onto a more sustainable path is widely acknowledged in principle, yet difficult to make substantive progress towards in practice, as the worsening of critical indicators on CO2 emissions or rainforest destruction demonstrates. A more sustainable future depends upon many things, including getting those within wealthier economies to consume both differently and less. However, the former has proven much more palatable for companies and governments than the latter. Changes to technologies, production systems, and business models will play important roles in progressing towards sustainability but will be insufficient in the face of a population growing in size and consumption intensity. Global ecological footprint data shows that we went beyond consuming what the planet can provide without degrading environmental systems in the mid-1980s, so inevitably progress towards sustainability will partly depend on us desiring and consuming less. Consumption reduction, even if agreed upon as a societal priority, will be complicated to promote, not least because the need to consume less is unequally distributed between and within societies.

Keywords: Sustainability; Environment; Existential Needs; Food Waste; Economic Value; Mentality; Social Influence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L15 L66 L81 M31 P46 Q01 Q02 Q13 Q53 Q55 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Handle: RePEc:rdc:journl:v:13:y:2022:i:4:p:32-39