Is Eco-Efficiency a Sufficient Strategy for Achieving a Sustainable Development? The Norwegian Case


A split review of the environmental impact of Norwegian consumption and production over the last decade illustrates that rising consumption is eliminating the bonus of eco-efficiency in production. Two key drivers behind this situation are the large increase in person and goods transportation and an increase in wealth that has allowed Norwegians to spend more on purchasing products and services. To achieve a sustainable development in rich countries, two major adjustments to the prevailing environmental policy are suggested: (1) The environmental impact of consumption should also be monitored as part of the official sustainability indicator monitoring system, e.g., by calculating the ecological footprint. (2) A specific consumption focus in environmental policy should be developed, beginning with the consumption categories with the largest footprint (volume) and the most negative development (change).