Saturday, December 2, 2023

EU backs draft anti-greenwashing laws

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Legislation will also ban environmental claims based solely on carbon offsetting schemes.
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The European Parliament has backed draft legislation to stop to misleading claims about carbon emissions and neutrality.

With 544 votes to 18 and 17 abstentions, the proposal for a new directive on empowering consumers for the green transition was approved.

Its main aim is to help consumers make environmentally friendly choices and encourage companies to offer more durable and sustainable products.

The legislation will ban the use of general environmental claims like “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco” if these do not come with detailed evidence. 

It will also ban environmental claims that are based solely on carbon offsetting schemes. 

Other misleading practices, such as making claims about the whole product if the claim is true only for one part of it, or saying that a product will last a certain amount of time or can be used at a certain level of intensity if that is not true, will also be forbidden.

“The industry will no longer profit from making consumer goods that break just as the guarantee period is over,” rapporteur Biljana Borzan said after the vote.  “Consumers will have to be provided with information about the options and cost of repairs in a clear manner. 

“Product labels will inform citizens which goods are guaranteed to last longer, and producers whose goods are more durable will profit. The jungle of false environmental claims will end as only certified and substantiated ecological claims will be permitted.”

The Council of the European Union adopted its own negotiating mandate on May 3. That means negotiations between the parliament and the member states on the final content and wording of the directive can start soon.

The proposed legislation paves the way for a new green claims directive that will further specify the conditions for making environmental claims in the future.

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