GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION

Overview

Sufficient evidence exists to suggest that the Anthropocene is a real geological phenomenon, as humans are increasingly recognized as the primary drivers of many of Earth’s geochemical cycles. Given our unique ability to influence Earth’s natural processes, sustainable consumption and production needs to be integrated into national and sectoral plans, sustainable business practices and consumer behaviour, together with adherence to international norms on the management of hazardous chemicals and wastes.

Eco-Efficiency & Resource Decoupling

Decoupling economic growth from natural resource use is fundamental to sustainable development. Global figures, however, point to worsening trends: domestic material consumption (the total amount of natural resources used in economic processes) increased from 1.2 kg to 1.3 kg per unit of GDP from 2000 to 2010. Total domestic material consumption also rose during the same period — from 48.7 billion tons to 71.0 billion tons. The increase is due in part to rising natural resource use worldwide, in particular in Eastern Asia.

Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Countries continue to address challenges linked to air, soil and water pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals under the auspices of multilateral environmental agreements. Almost all States Members of the United Nations are party to at least one of those conventions. Under the conventions’ obligations, countries are requested to regularly report data and information related to hazardous wastes, persistent organic pollutants and ozone depleting substances.

However, from 2010 to 2014, only 57 per cent of the parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, 71 per cent of the parties to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and 51 per cent of the parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants provided the requested data and information. All parties reported to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

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