Motivational complexity of green consumerism

Johanna Moisander
  • International Journal of Consumer Studies, July 2007, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1470-6431.2007.00586.x

Why we cannot expect consumers, as market actors, to take responsibility for climate change

What is it about?

This paper discusses the motivational complexity of green consumerism. It elaborates and illustrates the practical and moral challenges that environmentally concerned ‘green consumers’ face in the markets. On the whole, the paper argues that as a private lifestyle project of a single individual, ‘green consumerism’ is much too heavy a responsibility to bear.

Why is it important?

The paper demonstrates why framing and targeting environmental policy measures primarily in terms of individual motivation and morally responsible decision making is not such a good idea.


Professor Johanna K. Moisander
Aalto University

This paper is based on a presentation that I gave at an IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) expert meeting (Conceptual Frameworks for Mitigation. Assessment from the Perspective of Social Science, aimed to broaden the intellectual basis of Chapter 5 of the Third Assessment Report of IPCC), organized on March 21- 22 2000, in Karlsruhe, Germany. IPCC assessment reports are comprehensive and up-to-date assessments of the policy-relevant scientific, technical, and socio-economic dimensions of climate change. I have further developed these ideas in my later works. Check out the Resources I added here.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Johanna K. Moisander