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Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 897; doi:10.3390/su8090897

Consumer Behavior and Sustainable Development in China: The Role of Behavioral Sciences in Environmental Policymaking

1
Room 2022, Faculty of Law, University of Macau, E32, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau, China
2
gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development, 98 Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, Essex RM11 1JS, UK
Academic Editor: Paolo Davide Farah
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [240 KB, uploaded 6 September 2016]

Abstract

China’s astonishing economic development over the last decades has produced a momentous impact on the country’s environmental equilibrium. Chinese officials are now confronted with the need to tackle environmental problems without disrupting the country’s development. The Chinese government seems keen on striking a balance between these two apparently contradictory goals by promoting the concept of “ecological civilization”, a notion that emphasizes the importance of individual behavior. Over the last few years, environmental policymaking worldwide has been giving a lower profile to the role of the State and placing increasing responsibility for many environmental issues on citizens/consumers. Individuals are increasingly perceived as agents for environmental change and their behaviors are subject to tighter scrutiny. Due to the emergence of a consumer society in China, individual behaviors are increasingly a source of environmental problems and a key component of efficient and long-lasting solutions. Accordingly, Chinese policymakers should recognize the environmental significance of individual behaviors and look beyond traditional policy tools. This article argues that Behavioral Sciences can offer important lessons and help in designing new strategies that can speak directly to the Chinese people as a source of environmental harm, thus reducing their impact on the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: China; environmental policy; sustainable development; ecological civilization; consumer behavior; behavioral sciences China; environmental policy; sustainable development; ecological civilization; consumer behavior; behavioral sciences
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Simões, F.D. Consumer Behavior and Sustainable Development in China: The Role of Behavioral Sciences in Environmental Policymaking. Sustainability 2016, 8, 897.

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