12.1.1 Countries with Policy Instrument for Sustainable Consumption and Production
Target 12.1: Implement the 10-Year Framework of Programs on sustainable consumption and production (10YFP), all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Custodian Organization: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Tier Classification: Tier II
To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:
Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.
Definition: This indicator allows for the quantification (#) and monitoring of countries making progress along the policy cycle of binding and non-binding policy instruments aimed at supporting Sustainable Consumption and Production.
Sustainable Consumption and Production: the working definition of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) used in the context of this framework is: “The use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimising the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardise the needs of future generation.”1
Policy: although quite flexible and contexts specific, a policy is usually defined as a course of action that has been officially agreed by an entity or an organization (governmental or non-governmental) and is effectively implemented to achieve specific objectives.
Policy instruments for sustainable consumption and production: policy instruments refer to the means – methodologies, measures or interventions – that are used to achieve those objectives. In the case of SCP, such instruments are designed and implemented to reduce the environmental impacts of consumption and production patterns, with a view of generating economic and/or social benefits.
Making progress along the policy cycle refers to the development, adoption, implementation or evaluation of such policy instruments.
Rationale: Mainstreaming sustainable consumption and production in decision-making at all levels is a core function of the 10-Year Framework, which is expected to “support the integration of sustainable consumption and production into sustainable development policies, programmes and strategies, as appropriate, including, where applicable, into poverty reduction strategies” (Rio+20 Outcome Document – A/CONF.216/5). The purpose of this indicator is to help assess the volume and geographical repartition of governments progressing on sustainable consumption and production. In addition, further information is being collected on the types, focus and orientation of the policy instruments that are being developed and used, to monitor their progression over time as well as their contribution to other Sustainable Development Goals. This should support evaluation of how much / how fast governments progress in the development and application of policies addressing sustainable consumption and production, whether at cross-cutting or sectoral level.
The indicator is also considering both binding (laws and regulations) and non-binding policy instruments. The first category is essential to the shift, as binding instruments provide the legal ground for sustainable consumption and production, and can be used for enforcement or to provide incentives. The ability to develop, pass and implement legislation is an indication of jurisdictions’ engagement in the shift towards sustainable consumption and production. This indicator can also help monitor the evolution of the global legislative landscape. The second category is also essential to ensure institutional engagement, commitment and ownership. In some cases, non-binding policy instruments can lead to the creation of new legal ones. The development and implementation of non-binding instruments across sectors also provides information on engagement of partners and other stakeholders in sustainable consumption and production.
Concepts: As mentioned above, policy instruments are distinguished in legally binding policies and non-legally binding ones.
Legally binding: a legally binding policy instrument refers to a system of rules, procedures and/or principles which are prescribed and enforced by a governing authority with the aim of requiring or preventing specific actions or providing incentives that lead to change in actions or preferences. It includes: laws, regulations, standards, by-laws, codes, etc. They can relate to different types of jurisdictions such as a ministry, state, municipality, or group of states.
Non-binding: a non-binding policy instrument refers to a coherent set of decisions associated to a common vision, objective and/or direction, and to a proposed course of action to achieve these. It includes, for instance: action plans, policies, strategies, programmes, and projects. They can have different scopes of application (international, national, local, etc.).
At another level, different categories of policy instruments can be distinguished:
- Macro policies (e.g. national strategies/action plans, new institutions/entities)
- Regulatory and legal instruments (e.g. laws, standards, enforcement measures)
- Economic and fiscal instruments (taxes and tax incentives, grants, preferential loans, etc.) o
- Voluntary and self-regulation schemes (e.g. sectoral partnerships, codes of conduct, CSR initiatives)
It is important to note that, except for regulatory / legal instruments and voluntary / self-regulation schemes, the options above are not mutually exclusive: for instance, an economic instrument can be legally binding.
“Policy cycle”: this political science concept is widely used to analyse and inform public policy-making processes, but can be transposed to any recurrent pattern leading to the implementation of a policy or policy instrument. The following approach with regards to the various stages of the policy cycle is adopted:
- Policy development, including Agenda setting (e.g. the problem identified is high enough on the public agenda that action becomes likely) and Policy design (e.g. setting objectives, identifying costs-benefits of potential policy instruments and selecting);
- Policy adopted or officially launched (e.g. adopting or authorizing the preferred policy options through the legislative process and refined through the bureaucratic process);
- Policy under implementation through specific actions (e.g. translating policy into concrete action and policy instruments); results and impacts are being monitored;
- Policy and related action plan has reached its end date and has been evaluated.
Comments and limitations: Whereas the indicator quantifies and monitors countries’ progress along the policy cycle of binding and non-binding policy instruments aimed at supporting Sustainable Consumption and Production; it does not provide any qualitative information and whether policies were well-designed or if a proper background analysis had been conducted, the quality of implementation, level of enforcement, and its effects. These aspects will have to be looked at through narrative reports / qualitative analysis.
The indicator encompasses policy instruments supporting the shift to SCP, including: policies which identify SCP as a key priority, policies focused on SCP and sectoral policies with SCP objectives. It is acknowledged that sectoral policies are also being reported under other SDG indicators and in particular 12.7.1 (# of countries implementing sustainable public procurement policies and action plans) and 12.b.1 (# of sustainable tourism strategies or policies and implemented action plans with agreed monitoring and evaluation tools).
Establishing baselines and targets can be time and resource intensive and depends on the willingness of 10YFP National Focal Points to communicate necessary information.
Main aspects regarding precision, reliability, attribution and double counting are addressed above. If you come across additional issues, please inform the 10YFP Secretariat.
Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data is provided to the United Nations Statistics Division by the respective nation, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.
Data is accurate as of January 17, 2020
12.1.1 Countries with Policy Instrument for Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Sustainable Development Goals
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12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.
Sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole lifecycle, while increasing quality of life. It involves different stakeholders, including business, consumers, policy makers, researchers, scientists, retailers, media, and development cooperation agencies, among others.
It also requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in the supply chain, from producer to final consumer. It involves engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing consumers with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.
Related 12.1.1 Countries with Policy Instrument for Sustainable Consumption and Production Targets
Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries/p>