Up-scaling co-benefits of sustainable consumption for development

Sunrise in farm country. Photo: William DeHoogh / Unsplash

Date: June 13, 2022 - June 14, 2022
Date: June 13, 2022
All-day event
Location: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) - Tulpenfeld, 6 - Bonn
Start date: June 13, 2022
End date: June 14, 2022
Event summary: Join the German Development Institute (GDI) in Bonn to discuss consumption, circular economy, and bio-economy

The conference is jointly organized by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and the Climate Change Center Berlin Brandenburg. The conference is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

About the conference

Environmentally sustainable consumption is now high on the agenda of researchers and policymakers in rich countries. In contrast, in developing countries, the consuming middle classes are just emerging, mostly in cities, and concerns about the environmental footprint of consumption are only slowly entering the policy agenda. Given the unprecedented fast expansion of middle classes with increased spending capacity especially in emerging economies, however, it is crucial to encourage sustainable consumption here as well, avoiding emulation of unsustainable patterns of the past.

Sustainable consumption is de facto already practised in various contexts in low and middle-income countries, for instance when it comes to energy saving, shared mobility, decentral digital markets, (informal) repair and recycling services or innovative plastic re-use start-ups. Yet, such practices are often realized in settings of poverty, precarious working conditions and environmental hazards.

The challenge is thus to chart a pathway to sustainable consumption that is aligned with the economic aspirations of growing urbanizing middle classes, and at the same time creates economic benefits in terms of viable business innovations, decent work and good health conditions. Put differently: To unleash a virtuous cycle in which sustainable consumption and production reinforce each other and improve well-being.

DIE will host the conference “Up-scaling co-benefits of sustainable consumption for development” on 13-14 June in Bonn. Researchers and policymakers will discuss innovative insights on sustainable consumption and the role of the demand-side in the green transformation of economic systems. The conference also marks the end of the 5-year research project “Sustainable Middle Classes in Middle Income Countries: Transformation of Carbon Consumption Patterns (SMMICC)“. Scientific contributions to the conference are welcome. Selected papers will be published in a special issue.


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) – Tulpenfeld 6
Bonn, Germany.