Captured under the headings consumption and production we find a variety of processes that contribute significantly to the environmental problems that we face today. For many years, environmental policies targeted either production (through permits, command-and-control regulation) or consumption (mainly though mass-education campaigns). Nowadays, it is increasingly recognized that we should target consumption and production in conjunction if a transition towards sustainable production and consumption is to be realized. A variety of instruments is nowadays employed to move consumers and producers towards sustainability, both at the local level, national, and global level.
Environmental governance studies analyze these dynamics from a sociological and/or political science perspective. Such studies can focus for example on the development, employment and effectiveness of instruments such as eco-labeling, can analyze how changes in policy and governance affect the distribution of responsibility between different actors, or can aim to formulate policy-recommendations for the further improvement of sustainable consumption and production policy.