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EU policies for Sustainable Consumption and Production—the Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy

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The need to move towards sustainable consumption and production has been recognised since the First Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Yet progress in translating policy commitment into tangible measures has been slow. For the EU, the Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy presented by the Commission in July 2008 is an important step in that direction. It builds upon and further develops a life-cycle oriented product policy, and also addresses the consumption dimension. This article looks at implementation and application of the Action Plan. This is presenting a number of challenges: setting up and implementing a coherent legal framework, providing the requisite tools and steering voluntary processes. It concludes by looking to the future and the challenges for EU policies.

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