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S&Ds lead major improvements in EU law empowering consumers for the green transition

Date

11 May 2023

Sections

Climate & Environment

The European Parliament is set to approve a new law that will help consumers embrace the green transition. It seeks to provide better protection against greenwashing, unfair commercial practices, and improve information for consumers. 

The S&Ds have been leading on the file throughout the negotiations in the European Parliament. Thanks to our determination, companies will have to stop early obsolescence, with a ban on the introduction of features that limit a product's durability in order to extend the lifetime of devices which currently tend to break down after 2-3 years. While the Commission’s proposal only called for consumer information about such features, we have gone a step further by introducing a legal ban. 

Companies will also have to make their products more repairable, and consumers will be better informed through a new mandatory label of durability - included by the S&D rapporteur - that all products will need to feature. Additionally, the new law will ban unsubstantiated environmental claims, or “greenwashing”, as there are more than 1,200 such claims reported on the EU market. It will finally prohibit companies from featuring carbon offsetting as an asset, since this practice wrongly leads consumers to consider related products or services as safe for the environment.

Biljana Borzan, S&D vice-president and rapporteur on ‘Empowering consumers for the green transition’ in the committee on the internal market and consumer protection, said:

“Socialists and Democrats have been at the forefront to ensure consumers really know the quality of the products they buy from an environmental point of view. Progress has been made to increase transparency of the quality of the food industry, now consumers also need to know about the sustainability and durability of goods.

“Moving to more sustainable practices in the production and consumption of goods will not only benefit the environment, but also everyone’s wallets. With the new law ‘Empowering consumers for the green transition’ that the S&Ds have been leading on, companies will be required to stop early obsolescence and make their products repairable. This is a no-brainer in the ecological and inflation crises we live in, which urges us all to waste less.”

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