The goal of the European Commission’s SWITCH-Asia programme is to promote economic prosperity and help reduce poverty in Asia by encouraging a sustainable growth with low environmental impact from industries and consumers, in line with international environmental agreements and processes. The European Union has made the issue of "sustainable consumption and production" (SCP) a priority in its latest regional cooperation strategy (2007-2013) and in 2008 the European Commission launched the SWITCH-Asia programme to help interested consumers, businesses and supporting associations switch to a more sustainable paradigm.
Specifically, SWITCH-Asia aims to promote sustainable products, processes, services and consumption patterns in Asia by improving cooperation with European retailers, producer and consumer organizations and the public sector. Through a combination of grant-funded projects and networking components, the Programme intends to achieve:
- A higher use of environmentally friendly technologies and practices by business
- A switch by consumers to less damaging behaviors and consumption patterns
- The implementation and reinforcement of environmental and safety legal instruments
- The development and application of effective economic instruments that enhance SCP
- A better policy dialogue on SCP in Asia
- Greater dialogue on Asian SCP priorities and needs at an international level.