Sustainable consumption and production: Trends, challenges and options for the Asia-Pacific region
This paper highlights current trends in consumption and production patterns in Asian developing countries and emerging economies. It describes the main challenges and opportunities for Asian countries making the transition towards sustainable consumption and production patterns. The main challenge for Asian economies is to address the unsustainable consumption patterns of urban consumers, which entails a policy shift from the current focus on pollution and inefficient industrial production. In view of future consumption trends and the global convergence of consumption patterns, the characteristics of the emerging ‘global consumer class’ are examined, with particular focus on urban ecological footprints and carbon emissions. Furthermore, the difference between urban and rural consumption is discussed, together with opportunities for low-carbon urban development in the megacities of Asian developing countries. To conclude, the paper presents an overview of current policy measures taken in Asian countries to green economic development and realise sustainable consumption and production patterns.