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Contributors: Umpfenbach, Katharina (Ecologic Institute, Germany)


Katharina Umpfenbach is a Senior Fellow with Ecologic Institute, researching transformational change in the energy and resource efficiency field, particularly policy measures for behaviour change.

Scientific paper contribution: Exploring consumption-focused policy mixes for absolute decoupling of well-being from resource use and environmental impacts
The paper is authored by Katharina Umpfenbach and Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers

Abstract: The overall environmental impact of consumption of resources in the EU continues to grow, requiring more biocapacity than is globally available. This appears driven by the dominant economic model putting consumerism and GDP growth at the heart of our economic system, as well as in our cultural and political systems. The paper will presents attempts of the European research project DYNAMIX to define concrete policy instruments that address the structural, underlying causes of unsustainable consumption trends and to explore their potential impacts up to 2050. While the detailed policy mix is still work in progress and will be fully elaborated and analysed in a first ex-ante assessment by August 2014, interim findings show that the policy mix might encompass inter alia: • Policy instrument to enable individuals to exchange increases in affluence to leisure, • Policy instruments to reduce individuals’ exposure to commercials, • Policies addressing infrastructure-technology-behaviour lock-ins in a systematic fashion.