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Webinar series: Public Goals and Private Choice: Facilitating Sustainability via Consumers

From:We 18-05-2022 14:00
Until:We 29-06-2022 15:00

Webinar series: Public Goals and Private Choice: Facilitating Sustainability via Consumers

Jointly organised under the sectorplan 'Rebalancing Public & Private Interests' by the Erasmus School of Law Rotterdam and the Faculty of Law Groningen

Erasmus Law School and University of Groningen Faculty of Law

Major crises such as the climate emergency, environmental destruction and global inequality, call for action and strong commitment to the sustainability objectives in environmental, social and economic aspects. Sustainability standards are increasingly incorporated in production processes, supply of goods, and provision of services in different sectors which are offered to consumers. Against this background, this webinar series focuses in particular on the role of consumers in pursuing sustainability objectives and how this is facilitated by laws.

The aim is to discuss whether and how legal frameworks facilitate the private choice of individual consumers to achieve public goals related to sustainability.
This occurs in different sectors (e.g. energy and financial sectors), but also in different fields of law (e.g. competition law and consumer law). Analysing this development is relevant as it might have fundamental implications of how we understand the role of individuals, but also the one of the public sector for achieving societal welfare in terms of sustainability. Furthermore, this also leads to the question whether this can be considered a desirable development and if yes, how legal frameworks would need to be adjusted towards that aim.

Arguably, in liberalised markets consumers benefit from lower prices and high quality of the product or service. Adding non-tangible and non-financial values, requires consumers to make conscious choices beyond their own consumer interest and for society, even on a global scale. While legal frameworks facilitate this development it is relevant to ask how this affects the division of responsibilities between private and public powers for achieving sustainability goals. This webinar series is organised in 4 sessions and brings together experts from academia, the private and the public sector.

The following examples of sectors and fields of law will be addressed:

  • Webinar 1 addresses EU consumer law (18 May)
  • Webinar 2 discusses EU competition law (1 June)
  • Webinar 3 focuses on the energy sector (15 June
  • Webinar 4 focuses on financial markets (29 June)