Assessing national governments' policies to fulfil international mandates of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)

Event: The 9th biennial conference of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) and the 25th annual conference of the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST)
Date: June 26, 2017 / University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) has gained increasing importance to sustainability policy, featuring prominently in global policy frameworks, including the United Nations’ 10-year framework of programmes for SCP (10YFP) and as both Goal 12 and a cross-cuttting objective of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The question remains if and how these international mandates are being translated to national policy. It is almost five years after the Rio+20 Conference that adopted the 10YFP and set the stage for the SDGs; progress of national-level SCP policymaking has not yet been systematically analysed; challenges and capacity needs governments towards realising these frameworks are not yet studied. This presentation summarises findings from analysis of national-level SCP policies, from three perspectives: i) trends in recent SCP policymaking, ii) level of integration, and iii) challenges and capacity needs of national governments. The results suggest the necessity to better engage countries in interpreting the SDGs and 10YFP from an integrative perspective, and for coordination mechanisms that operate across the traditional silo format of government ministries. Further implications on approaches by international organisations and aid agencies, suggest that current focus on capacity building and prioritization of programmes and projects may be incongruous with implementation needs that match demands of new SCP mandates.