Sustainable consumption

Policy makers are being urged to take measures that will ensure sustainable consumption. Drew Collins and Professor Jeff Bennett recently explored the meaning of sustainable consumption and how it is being applied internationally. They provided an economic critique of the concept and considered the implications for policy in Australia.

They argue that the concept has been used as justification for a wide range of intervention strategies with popular appeal that has allowed their introduction without rigorous critique. They conclude that policies invoked in the name of sustainable consumption need to satisfy the core requirements of any public policy – that they are both efficient in their use of scarce resources and equitable in their treatment of people. Their paper was published in the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 16, March 2009 and can be downloaded here.

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