"EU Bans ‘Misleading’ Environmental Claims That Rely On Offsetting"

"Products and services billed as climate neutral, biodegradable or eco must provide proof, with carbon schemes banned as evidence".

"Terms such as “climate neutral” or “climate positive” that rely on offsetting will be banned from the EU by 2026 as part of a crackdown on misleading environmental claims.

On Wednesday, members of the European parliament [MEPs] voted to outlaw the use of terms such as “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco” without evidence, while introducing a total ban on using carbon offsetting schemes to substantiate the claims.

Under the new directive, only sustainability labels using approved certification schemes will be allowed by the bloc. It comes amid widespread concern about the environmental impact of carbon offsetting schemes, which have often been used to justify labelling products “carbon neutral”, or imply that consumers can fly, buy new clothes or eat certain foods without making the climate crisis worse.

“This new legislation puts an end to misleading advertising for supposedly environmentally friendly products and thus enables consumers to make sustainable choices,” said Anna Cavazzini, the Green MEP and chair of the Committee of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection."

Patrick Greenfield reports for the Guardian January 17, 2024.

Source: Guardian, 01/18/2024