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This chapter addresses the need to change unsustainable patterns of production and consumption that lead to environmental degradation, aggravation of poverty and imbalances in the development of countries. Two paragraphs in this chapter were bracketed upon the request of the US, which tried to open additional paragraphs for discussion during the Main Committee's debate on the chapter. A long and often heated debate took place on paragraphs 4.3 and 4.5 that deal with the links between poverty, environmental stress and the need to change consumption patterns. After a series of consultations led by Australia, the US agreed to withdraw its objections to additional paragraphs in the chapter and remove the brackets on paragraphs 4.3 and 4.5, once the text was slightly amended. The chapter now, albeit indirectly, addresses unsustainable lifestyles in developed countries, as well as in segments of developing countries. The two programme areas in this chapter are: Focusing on unsustainable patterns of production and consumption; and Developing national policies and strategies to encourage changes in unsustainable consumption patterns.


This chapter addresses the relationship between population and sustainable development. As this chapter arrived from New York bracket-free (with the exception of the finance paragraphs), no discussion was necessary in Rio. The three programme areas are: Developing and disseminating knowledge concerning the links between demographic trends and factors and sustainable development; Formulating integrated national policies for environment and development, taking into account demographic trends and factors; and Implementing integrated environment and development programmes at the local level, taking into account demographic trends and factors.

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