Is Green Consumption Part of the Solution?

Andrew Szasz

in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566600
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Is Green Consumption Part of the Solution?

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Concerns about climate change have prompted a new form of green consuming; people buy commodities that promise to have a lower carbon footprint (LCF) than some other, comparable commodities. This article analyses the concept of green consumption as a solutions for climate change. Individual consumption accounts for a substantial fraction of the nation's carbon emissions, on the order of around 40%. If millions of consumers made the LCF choice, there would be significant reductions in aggregate carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, it would send a powerful signal, encouraging corporations to bring more LCF products to market. This article enumerates the conditions that would have to exist if LCF consuming is ever to become a significant factor in meeting the climate change challenge. It assesses whether these conditions currently exist and explores what would have to be different to create those favorable conditions if they do not exist.

Keywords: green consumption; lower carbon footprint; climate activism; individual consumption; nation's carbon emissions

Article.  7275 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Public Administration

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