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Greening the Danes? Experience with consumption and environment policies.

Christensen, T.H.; Godskesen, M.; Røpke, I.; Gram-Hansen, K. and Quitzau, M.-B. (2007) Greening the Danes? Experience with consumption and environment policies. Journal of Consumer Policy, 30, pp. 91-116.

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Consumer-oriented environmental policies came high on the political agenda during the 1990s. Internationally, consumers were assigned a key role in environmental policies; also in Denmark, political initiatives were taken to promote sustainable consumer behaviour. In this article, the results of Danish policies related to consumption and environment are assessed by considering first, the environmental impacts of the political measures, and second, whether the policies have succeeded in addressing the dynamics behind increasing consumption. The study combines a theoretical understanding of consumption as an inseparable part of daily practices with empirical analyses of three fiels of consumption: housing, transportation and information and communication technologies. It is pointed out that policies to promote sustainable consumption are succesful only when technological development, economic structures, and information are all in accordance with each other, and this is the case only when sustainable consumption does not conflict with economic growth. A more fundamental critique thus concerns the failure of Danish consumer-oriented policies to address consumption growth and the rising standards for 'normal consumption'.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:consumer-oriented environmental policy; sustainable consumption; housing; transport; information and communication technology; Denmark
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Denmark > DTU - Technical University of Denmark
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, NERI - National Environmental Research Institute
Denmark > SOAR - Research School for Organic Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited By: Quitzau, MSc. Maj-Britt
ID Code:11295
Deposited On:01 Oct 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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