Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption
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Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption

Edited by Lucia A. Reisch and John Thøgersen

This Handbook compiles the state of the art of current research on sustainable consumption from the world’s leading experts in the field. The implementation of sustainable consumption presents one of the greatest challenges and opportunities we are faced with today. On the one hand, consumption is a wanted and necessary phenomenon important for society and the economy. On the other, our means of consumption contradicts many important ecological and social long-term goals. Set against this background, the Handbook aims to offer an interdisciplinary overview of recent research on sustainable consumption, to draw attention to this subject and to encourage discussion and debate. In 27 chapters, leading authorities in the field provide their expertise in a concise and accessible manner.
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Chapter 18: Carbon triage: a strategy for developing a viable carbon labelling system

Sharon Shewmake, Mark A. Cohen, Paul C. Stern and Michael P. Vandenbergh


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has expressed increasing scientific certainty about the anthropogenic influence on climate change, concluding in 2013 that the influence is ‘extremely likely’ (IPCC 2013). Despite these developments, the policy response remains quite uncertain. The prospects for international agreement on a comprehensive climate treaty under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process are dim, and the prospects for comprehensive national climate legislation in the United States and many other major emitting countries look no more promising. In this environment, scholars and policy makers over the past several years have become increasingly interested in other governance options, including regime complexes (Keohane and Victor 2011) and climate ‘clubs’ (Victor 2011) at the international level, as well as subnational strategies such as polycentric governance (Ostrom 2012), bottom-up approaches (Stewart et al. 2013) and private governance (Vandenbergh 2013). One such option is carbon labelling, which involves representing on a product label (or otherwise at the point of sale) the product’s contribution across its life cycle to net emissions of gases that contribute to global warming.

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