SDG 12: Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
27 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 25, 2021
SDG 12 operates in a context shaped by contrasts between thriving consumers and exploited workers, and rampant unsustainable practices. This contribution critically discusses the areas of international law that are relevant for SDG 12, with special attention for the international trade and investment regimes. It argues that the environmental and human rights agreements currently in force are much weaker when compared to the powerful regimes of international economic law, whose main preoccupation is the liberalisation of trade and investment, and not material footprints and the redistributive consequences of sustainable production and consumption. SDG 12’s focus on voluntarism, and omission of key human rights instruments, can hardly affect this imbalance. It rather reproduces the structural conditions that have generated enormous social and environmental damages.
Keywords: SDG 12, sustainable production and consumption, WTO law, investment law, private regulation, sustainability, regional trade agreements, bilateral investment treaties, business and human rights, dispute settlement
JEL Classification: K33, K38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation