Sustainable consumption and environmental inequalities

This article examines the potential for cross-fertilisation between the sustainable

consumption scholarship and the environmental justice scholarship. The article first maps

the two areas of scholarship, discussing the cognitive, social marketing and social

provisioning systems literatures of sustainable consumption and the empirical and

conceptual literature on environmental justice. The article then discusses the potential for

cross-fertilisation between the two areas of scholarship. It indicates how sustainable

consumption scholarship can benefit from the social justice sensitivity of the environmental

justice scholarship, and how the latter area of scholarship can gain a whole new area of

empirical research focusing on social justice aspects of consumption. The article seeks to

demonstrate the social and policy significance of the cross-fertilisation by comparing the

consumption and environmental justice implications of carbon taxation and personal carbon

allowance trading as tools of carbon management. The article suggests that to be fair, both

strategies of carbon management require complementary (albeit different) measures that

address background inequalities and capabilities to act in the setting created by the



Seyfang G; Paavola J (2007), Working Paper – Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, pp.1-29.