Strong sustainable consumption governance a precondition for a degrowth path?
Sylvia Lorek, Doris Fuchs
Improving the conversation between the degrowth debate and the move toward sustainable consumption
This paper aims to link two debates and literatures at the cutting edge of sustainable development research and governance: sustainable consumption and degrowth. Interestingly, these literatures have only recently started to exchange and integrate insights, despite their similar interest in the fundamental systemic challenges to sustainable development. The paper argues that this lack of connection is due to a predominance of perspectives in sustainable consumption governance that focus almost exclusively on questions of efficiency gains. This “weak sustainable consumption” governance, however, is not able to address the challenges to sustainable development arising from overconsumption in general or the rebound effect and distributive issues in particular. In contrast, a “strong sustainable consumption” perspective provides a basis for a promising inquiry into the linkages between consumption and sustainable development as well as a fruitful exchange with degrowth. Specifically, it allows the delineation of relevant insights on the role of values in governance, obstacles to political reform, and promising political strategies for the degrowth debate and literature. (annotation from abstract)
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