Sustainable Consumption, Engery Policy and Individual Well-being
Daniel A. Farber
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law
August 27, 2011
UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 1918204
Environmental law focuses on regulating the production of energy and goods. Less attention has been given to reducing the environmental footprint of consumption. This Article brings together several strands of research, including psychological and economic research on subjective well-being; research on energy efficiency; writings by urban planners on sustainable communities; and recent work on individual behavior and sustainability. The conclusion, in a nutshell, is that changes in consumption of goods and energy, assisted by improvements in urban design and transportation infrastructure, can significantly reduce energy use and environmental harm. A variety of legal tools are available to promote these changes. Remarkably, many of the steps needed for sustainability can actually improve quality of life, adding to individual satisfaction. Thus, sustainability for society and the pursuit of individual happiness need not be at odds.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Date posted: August 28, 2011 ; Last revised: April 12, 2015