An international consensus for change is clearly emerging. Further effort within the context of an international work programme is required to establish firm foundations to underpin policy decisions on sustainable production and consumption patterns, particularly in the following areas:
- Greater precision in the definition of key concepts, as well as a delineation between levels, patterns and distribution of consumption.
- Clarification of the global, regional, national and local constraints to consumption and production such as ecological carrying capacity. The nature and scale of environmental problems that are generated by particular patterns or levels of consumption should be defined.
- Greater understanding of the social, demographic, economic, ethical, cultural and technological driving forces of consumption patterns.
- Linking action at the micro-level (for example on life cycle approaches to product management) with macro-level analyses of carrying capacity.
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This foundation work must lead to the setting of time-bounded targets for action by governments, industry and NGOs, as well as the development of the necessary capacities to make the changes.
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