Oslo Rountable on Sustainable Production and Consumption
2.4 - Governments
2.4.2 National Governments
National governments have a range of important responsibilities, including setting the analytical
and policy framework for sustainable consumption (including dynamic market conditions),
establishing effective incentives, infrastructure and information that enable consumers to take
sustainable consumption choices, taking the lead through public procurement policies, and using
indicators to measure progress. Further strengthening of public policies could be pursued to:
Governments as Consumers
- - Influence the overall patterns of demand for goods and services through
the introduction of environmental strategies for procurement policies, the
provision of services and administration.
Improving Understanding and Analysis
- - Launch a roundtable process to generate a shared vision of sustainable
consumption, based on the active participation of different segments of society.
- - Review research and technology development programmes to ensure
consistency with sustainable consumption goals.
- - Integrate the value of natural resources and environmental factors into
the system of national accounts.
- - Undertake research and analysis to identify where demand-side measures
could be most effective in changing consumption and production patterns.
- - Study the relationships between demographic dynamics and changing
patterns of consumption and production (eg ageing population, household
- - Clarify the relationship between non-sustainable production and
consumption on one hand and demographic dynamics, regulations, standards
and economic incentives in addition to ownership and control over natural
resources on the other hand.
- - Establish broad-based working groups to set targets for end-use life cycle
performance of selected goods and services.
- - Support citizens`organisations involved in the promotion of sustainable
production and consumption.
Applying Tools for Modifying Behaviour: Regulatory Measures
- - Develop comprehensive product policies, including through the
broadening of producer responsibility targets for re-use, recycling, durability
and resource efficiency.
- - Introduce voluntary agreements with industry sectors on key issues of
sustainable production and consumption, and monitor these by peer boards.
- - Explore the feasibility of introducing or extending`right to know`
provisions to cover the life cycle environmental impacts of products.
- - Explore the scope for using competition policies to stimulate greater
choice in environmentally superior goods and services.
- - Develop strategies for developing sustainable building and construction
- - Review existing regulations and standards which may provide obstacles to
- - Encourage the development of markets for second-hand products.
DOCUMENT WINDOW - THE CLOSED SUBSTANCE CYCLE AND WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT
Applying Tools for Modifying Behaviour: Economic Incentives
- - Reform fiscal and pricing policies to internalise environmental costs so
that effective incentives are given for sustainable consumption and production,
while introducing effective mitigating measures to protect poorer sections of
- - Shift the tax burden from labour to the use of resources and damage to
the environment to prompt greater efficiency, reduce pollution, strengthen the
market for cleaner technologies and create new jobs.
- - Remove subsidies that generate unsustainable patterns of consumption
and production (eg transport, energy and agriculture).
- - Review capital investment programmes, particularly for urban
development, transport and energy infrastructure, through the application of
strategic environmental assessment on plans, policies and programmes.
- - Study ways in which consumer and producer liability norms can be
strengthened to give incentives for more sustainable production and
DOCUMENT WINDOW - LESSONS FROM THE USE OF ECONOMIC INSTRUMENTS
Applying Tools for Modifying Behaviour: Social Instruments
- - Stimulate the development of a code of conduct to control the use of
environmental claims in advertising.
- - Develop public education campaigns to raise public awareness on the
environmental impacts of lifestyles, the options for improvement and the
benefits of more sustainable consumption (e.g. the need to curb traffic growth).
- - Endorse and publicise successful social innovations to promote
- - Provide information and advice on the environmental impacts of
household budgets and spending patterns required to support a sustainable
- - Ensure the transparency, access and credibility of eco-label programmes,
prevent discrimination against foreign producers and explore possibilities for
- - Develop eco-label programmes to promote the continuous improvement
of product performance.
- - Support the work of consumer organisations in developing
environmental testing of products.
Monitoring, Evaluating and Reviewing Performance
- - Develop comparable indicators and methodologies for measuring
progress towards sustainable consumption, including the efficiency,
effectiveness and impacts of measures taken.
- - Establish systems for regular review of measures taken and progress
made, and communicate this to the CSD as part of the annual reporting
DOCUMENT WINDOW - THE GOING FOR GREEN INITIATIVE
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