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Sustainable Development

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made (a) in the UK and (b) internationally in implementing the recommendations arising from the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development regarding sustainable consumption. (228492)

At the international level responsibility principally lies with the ‘Marrakech Process’ and the seven international task forces which it has so far fostered. Among the themes covered by the task forces are sustainable lifestyles, education for sustainable development and sustainable tourism. The task forces focus on practical activities that help with the shift to more sustainable patterns of consumption at regional and local levels. A first draft of a 10-year framework programme has recently been produced and can be found on the Marrakech Process website.

Within England, DEFRA is implementing a programme on sustainable consumption and production. The main actions and objectives are described in DEFRA’s progress report on sustainable products and materials (published in July 2008 and available on the DEFRA website). As far as sustainable consumption is concerned, we have published a framework for pro-environmental behaviours which sets out a social marketing style approach to helping people move to more sustainable living. This includes core principles and approaches, headline behaviour goals, consumer insight, a segmentation model and an assessment of the implications for policy. The framework has been used, for example, to inform the development of the Government’s Act on CO2 campaign.