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Consumer Interests and Sustainable Development in International Law

Consumer Interests and Sustainable Development in International Law

Sustainable Consumption is one of the key factors on the way to Sustainable Develoment. So far, the implementation of suatinable consumption lacks legally binding international obligations. This study therefore identifies whether and to what extend existing international agreements or organisations could serve as a tool to implement aspects of sustainable development. In addition, the study offers recommendations how further policy integration in the field of sustainable consumption can be achieved. Particular emphasis is placed on international trade law.

Study [pdf, 390 KB, English] 
Policy Brief [pdf, 57 KB, English], summary of the results

The motivation for this study was, on the one hand, to identify and categorise consumer interest, and to connect them the concept of sustainble development in the form of sustainable consumption. On the other hand, concerning the implementation and enforcement of sustainble consumption a lack of international obligations can be identified. Accordingly, the study focused on several existing international instruments and organisation that were origionally not desigend to encompass sustainable consumption but which do already cover aspects of sustainable consumption and could potentially further integrate it. The recommendations propose measures to change the institutional structure, as well as to reform the actual body of law. The study placed particular emphasis on international trade law of the WTO. The latter was identified to carry the potential to further promote sustainable consumption but that misses a cross-section concept for policy integration.

November 2002 to October 2003
Project ID
Consumer Policy, Sustainable Consumption and Development, International Trade Law, WTO-Law, MEAs, Global, Germany