By Marianne Comfort, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Institute Justice Team
Many of us have heard about the Millennium Development Goals, which set out to improve various indicators of well-being in impoverished nations by 2015. I was intrigued recently to learn of the Millennium Consumption Goals, a complementary initiative that calls for more sustainable consumption by developed nations while meeting the basic needs of persons who are poor.
The initiative has been submitted for consideration during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June. The conference is also known as Rio+20, to mark the 20th anniversary of the original Earth Summit in 1992.
The Consumption Goals were established:
- to ensure that the basic needs of poor people are met;
- to preserve and strengthen Earth’s natural resource base;
- to enhance global prosperity, while ensuring good quality of life and well-being for every one before 2020;
- to improve intra- and inter-generational equity; and
- to accelerate the shift to more sustainable consumption and production.
It is heartening to realize that Earth’s limited capacity to feed our immense appetites is being recognized and addressed in a systematic way, even if only in suggestion form at this point.