Many problems threaten our future, including poverty, unequal consumption, resource scarcities, hunger, disease, environmental harm, conflict and finally climate change – which exacerbates all the preceding issues. Green Cross is leading the effort to find integrated sustainable development solutions to solve these multiple problems simultaneously, by addressing key drivers like consumption, production, governance and population. Piecemeal solutions have not been effective, because solving one problem has often exacerbated others.

The global economy already uses natural resources equivalent to 1.5 planets earth. The world’s richest 1.4 billion consume over 80% of global output, which is over 60 fold the consumption of the poorest 1.4 billion. The consumption of the affluent is not only ecologically unsustainable, but also “crowding out” the socio-economic prospects of the poor and exacerbating inequalities that increase conflict. Even the modest Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the poor, are unlikely to be met. This development dilemma could be addressed through the Millennium Consumption Goals (MCG) proposal, based on the Sustainomics framework. The MCGs will complement the MDGs.

The MCG vision for 2030 is:

  • Environmentally, to reduce humanity’s global resource use footprint within the sustainable limits of the planet;
  • Socially, to meet the basic human needs of the poor and make the distribution of consumption more equitable, within this global resource use envelope;
  • Economically, to promote prosperity within a sustainable economy that is efficient, but respects critical environmental and social sustainability constraints.

MCG No.1 seeks to meet the basic needs of every human being, including food, water, energy health, education, shelter, etc.
MCG No.2 aims to make the consumption of the rich more sustainable, initially through voluntary goals at the level of regions, cities, communities, companies and institutions, and eventually expanding to internationally binding agreements. Changes in lifestyles and values are being promoted that not only reduce resource use but also improve health and wellbeing.
The MCGs are being pursued at two levels, by the MCG Initiative (MCGI) – a broad coalition of stakeholders from govt., civil society and business:

  1. Internationally: MCGs are being discussed as one component of the sustainable development goals (SDG) now under consideration in the UN post-2015 agenda.
  2. Locally: MCGI stakeholders include cities, communities, firms and institutions who have declared their own voluntary MCGs, without waiting for UN agreements. For example, the Climate Alliance (1600 european cities) have formally adopted MCGs, including carbon emissions, energy, and water. Worldwide, middle level leaders like city mayors, community leaders and company CEOs are acting more decisively than national leaders.

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