Sustainable consumption, fairness and responsibility
Environmental challenges involve huge issues of justice and fairness. Many actions to avert dangerous climate change or other forms of environmental harm impose burdens on individuals, from constraints on consumption to financial costs. The effects of environmental change bear unevenly too. How these burdens and impacts are to be shared fairly is a crucial question for public policy.
This programme looks at environmental policy challenges and the role of citizenship: both democratic consent and personal behavioural change. It considers the interaction between environmental issues, fairness and social justice and how public support can be built for sustainability measures affecting personal consumption.
Our recent Environment and Citizenship outputs include:
- Our ‘Green Labour’ Summer Conference
- ‘Green Space’, Fabian Review, Winter 2012/13
- Revaluing Food
- Running Dry: Investigating the public’s willingness to pay for river protection
- Everyone on Board: Bringing the public into the aviation debate
- Waste Not, Want Not: How fairness concerns can shift attitudes to food waste
- The Fairness Instinct: How we can harness public opinion to save the environment
- Water Use in Southern England: What do the public think is fair?
We are currently working on a major investigation on public attitudes to land, community and the environment.
Five key questions for this research programme are:
- How can we build broad-based public support for government action on the environment?
- How do we ensure that the burdens of action on the environment are shared fairly through society?
- How can we demonstrate the false choice between the sustainability agenda and economic prosperity?
- Can an emphasis on the responsible use and fair distribution of scarce resources place environment issues at the heart of modern social democracy, as part of ‘responsible capitalism’?
- How can the impacts of damaging environmental change be shared fairly within society?
If you’d like to know more about our Environment & Citizenship programme or are interested in partnering with the Fabian Society, please contact Senior Researcher Natan Doron by emailing him at email@example.com.