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The contradictions of sustainable consumption under climate change

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  • UserProf. Edwin Zaccai, Director of the Centre of Studies on Sustainable Development, in the Institute for Environmental Management and Land Planning (IGEAT) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
  • ClockWednesday 03 February 2010, 16:00-17:00
  • HouseMill Lane Lecture Rooms, Room 1.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr A. Zabala.

In the broad context of sustainable development, and more specifically, in order to contribute to mitigate climate change, individuals are increasingly invited to make specific choices as consumers. Sustainable consumption, promoted by numerous discourses and devices originating both within the private and public sector, has become a political objective. This talk will explore obstacles and contradictions this orientation encounters, leading to overall relatively poor results obtained so far within the ecological impacts of Northern societies. In this perspective we will analyze both the macro and micro levels. At the macro level, there are conflicts between consumerist economic drivers and relatively vague objectives toward limiting the impacts of consumer goods. At the micro level difficulties arise from “locked-in” situations of consumers within their daily practice, as well as from the theoretical limits of a rational choice model incorporating citizen values. Perspectives will be drawn in conclusion, with propositions in order to incorporate more fully the consumer side of changing production and consumption patterns within a climate policy.

This talk is part of the Land Economy Seminar Series series.

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