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Norman Nancy and Wang Xiangyi attended Sustainable Consumption Forum 2013

On the 7th ofJune 2013we attended the“Sustainable Consumption Forum 2013”organisedjointly by the United Nations in China and the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.
Although there are many activities on sustainable consumption under way, the impacts of these activities are still limited since an open information exchange platform has not been established to demonstrate the framework for sustainable consumption.It requires further efforts to identify the resources available, to synergize the elaboration of common efforts, to share information and to exchange experiences. UN China therefore plans to establish a platform and partnership on sustainable consumption. In light of these circumstances, and as a celebration of the World Environmental Day (WED) 2013, the Sustainable Consumption Forum aimed to deepen the process of engaging all stakeholders, summarizing their needs and requests and beginning the process of providing solutions and best practices. True to the theme of sustainable consumption, the Forum itself was held as a green meeting, promoting green transportation modes to and from the venue and green food eating habits.
The organizers took the opportunity to brief interested participants on the current progress to control air pollution and hazy weather in Beijing and neighboring regions and discussed how changes in consumer behavior can help.
On the issue of forestry,the concept of reward industrialization damages was introduced. Considering the issue of climate change and damage to natural environment, forestry contributes to the carbon balance. Lot of things must be done like planting trees, protect areas and encourage citizens to contribute to the development of sustainable forestry.Being aware of the stakes, the Chinese government pays a lot for forestry development which can absorb and stock more carbon.
Beyond the different stakeholders, it appears that it’s important to incite people who do the same route to share their cars. Car pooling is developing on different websites and there is hopethat it will reduce the traffic jams and consequently cars emission.Promoting energy efficiency is a major issue concerning houses, food, electricity and solutions are increasing.
Food production and consumption is another big problem. On the one hand, we consume too much meat in developed countries, the production is increasing constantly while 1/3 of it is wasted. On the other hand, particularly in China, food waste is animportantissue, but it is difficult to address from a cultural point of view. People eat together on a round table and share dishes. Therefore it’s difficult to quantify how much people eat and most of the time there is much food wasted. One of the ideas is to order step by step sustainable consumption.
International labels ensurethat sustainable consumption practices are used by brands and there is hope that the use of labels develops in the future. The Forum also discussed approaches for protecting consumers from misleading information on sustainability in areas such as labeling, advertising and corporate reporting. The trend towards considering the social dimensions of sustainable consumption has led to more attention to how products are produced. If you shop locally-preferably from shops that make or obtain their produce locally - you will cut down on the need for transport and, therefore, harmful carbon dioxide emissions