The Millennium Consumption Goals

Millennium Consumption Goals complement the Millennium Development Goals, and helping to ensure that the basic needs of the poor are met, preserve and strengthen earth’s natural resource base on which human society depends, and enhance global prosperity, while ensuring a good quality of life and well being for everyone by 2020, improving intra- and inter-generational equity, and accelerating the shift to more sustainable consumption and production as an essential step towards the ultimate goal of sustainable development. 

The Millennium Consumption Goals (MCG) proposal was made by Prof. Munasinghe in January 2011 at the United Nations in New York, during preparatory discussions for the forthcoming 2012 UN Conference on sustainable development (UNCSD2012 or Rio+20). He also presented the idea and initiative during the International annual conference of Climate Alliance in Munich, Germany in May 2011.

Consumption drives modern economies. MCG could help make our development path more sustainable, by focusing on the unsustainable patterns of consumption, production and resource exploitation that have led to multiple crises threatening the future survival of humanity. We already face formidable problems of development like poverty, hunger, water and energy scarcities, illness and conflict. Climate change is now considered the ultimate risk multiplier which will exacerbate them all.

The MCG seek to address the unsustainable aspects in the lifestyles of the 1.4 billion people in the richest 20 percentile of the world’s population, living in all countries. They consume over 80% of global output, or 60 times more than the poorest 20 percentile. Instead of viewing the rich as a problem, they should be persuaded to contribute to the solution — by consuming more sustainably.

The MCG will complement the Millennium development goals (MDG) designed to help the world’s poor. The MCG need not necessarily be mandatory targets, but rather a set of benchmarks to be achieved through a combination of voluntary actions by sustainable consumers and producers, supported by enabling government policies and measures.

The Millennium Consumption Goals Initiative (MCGI) was launched to move this idea forward sensibly and systematically. The MCGI is being pursued by a broad coalition of stakeholders called the MCG Network (MCGN). It is action-oriented, multi-level, pluralistic and transnational. 

Millennium consumption goals (MCG) - how the rich
can make the planet more sustainable by Mohan Munasinghe, MIND (pdf, 41 KB)

Key MCG questions for discussion by stakeholders (MCG website)


Photo: Thorben Wengert /