Regional Consultations

North America

North American Workshop on Sustainable Consumption and Production, Washington, D.C., November 6-7, 2008

The First North American Workshop on Sustainable Consumption and Production was held in Washington, D.C. from 6 to7 November 2008. The workshop was a valuable opportunity to shape North American needs and priorities for achieving SCP, as well as to identify success stories, best practices, lessons learned, and gaps. The US and Canada committed to explore increased involvement in the Marrakech Process, including fuller engagement in existing SCP Task Forces and North American leadership on additional sustainability topics that address priority needs of developing countries.

Participants included a select group of senior experts and stakeholders in the U.S. and Canada, from government, academia and think tanks, industry and trade associations, and NGOs.

For further information, see meeting report and background documents.

The workshop also discussed a way forward by proposing some key activities over the coming years that would help broader understanding and support for SCP and contribute to a regional SCP approach and the elaboration of the10YFP.

Proposed activities for the region include::

Framing SCP Issues:

-Conduct an analysis of how SCP links and can contribute to greening approaches to help overcome the current economic downturn and the climate change problem.
-Develop metrics to measure the progress towards SCP, both for the design of the framework of policies and incentives and to monitor their subsequent effectiveness in achieving SCP.
-Collect the work and visions of different stakeholder groups on SCP.
-Compile and publish SCP success stories, lessons learned, best practices and their potential replicability.

Work in Various Economic Sectors:

-Explore the possibility of developing commitments to SCP targets within sectors.
-Examine and make use of the sectoral analyses contained in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Poznan meeting documents addressing the greenhouse gas emissions from electricity grids, steel, cement and chemicals industries.

Other Specific Action Items:

-Establish a group or Task Force to look into specific issues, such as ways to reduce the proliferation of product labels.
-Develop a website analogue to the election-related, like a that could help inform citizens about issues, such as organic vs. local, organic cotton vs. bamboo.
-Seek to identify how the SPC work can be related to the other discussion topics-transport, chemicals, waste management and mining-at the upcoming CSD 18-19 cycle sessions.

The following documents provide additional background information for this workshop:


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Barack Obama

"We can no longer consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it"

President Barack Obama during his inaugural speech.