The Framing of Sustainable Consumption and Production in SDG 12
This paper examines the processes of formulation of UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG 12)–‘Ensure SustainableConsumption and Production Patterns’–and its targets and indicators. We argue that business interests have steered its nar-rative of sustainable growth. The outcome of the SDG 12 negotiations reflects a production- and design-centered perspectivethat emerged in the 1990s and has a business-friendly regulatory approach and faith in solutions through new technologies.We show how the targets and indicators emerged in debates between national governments, UN agencies, civil society andprivate sector organizations–and how they reflect both the political process and technical and practical considerations intranslation of a broad concept into the SDG format. While the emergence of SDG 12 as a standalone goal stems from a pushby developing countries to build pressure on developed countries, and its presence may open space for attention to this areain the future, many of its targets were watered down and left vague. The indicators to measure progress on the targets fur-ther narrow the scope and ambition of Goal 12, whose current content does not adequately reflect earlier more transforma-tive conceptualizations of Sustainable Consumption and Production.