Environmental Project, 904, 2004

Consumption and the Environment in Europe


Increasing consumption poses a major challenge to environmental sustainability in Europe. Three consumption areas are responsible for most of the resource use and environmental damage: food, transport and housing. Efforts to develop new technology and "get the prices right" are necessary but most likely insufficient to achieve substantial reductions in environmental burdens. Governments, businesses and consumers need a better understanding of the forces that shape consumption. Effective strategies for sustainable consumption are likely to involve fostering both technological and institutional or social innovation in business and civil society.

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