EU Green Claims Directive: Council Moves Forward with Negotiations

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On June 18, 2024, the EU Council has adopted its position on the green claims directive, a significant step to combat greenwashing and help consumers make truly eco-friendly choices. This directive sets strict standards for substantiating, communicating, and verifying environmental claims to ensure accurate and reliable information.

Key Points of the Directive

  • Clear Criteria: Companies must use clear criteria and the latest scientific evidence to substantiate environmental claims and labels, which must be easy to understand and specific about environmental benefits like durability or recyclability.
  • Verification: All green claims need third-party verification before publication. A simplified process allows certain claims to bypass this if a technical document is completed.
  • Microenterprise Support: Small businesses have an additional 14 months to comply and will receive guidelines, tools, financial support, and training.
  • Public Labels: Existing national or regional labeling schemes can be exempt from third-party verification if they meet EU standards. EN ISO 14024 type 1 ecolabels recognized in one member state are valid EU-wide.
  • Climate Claims: Companies must provide detailed information about carbon credits and prove progress toward net-zero targets for offset claims.

 

Next Steps

The Council’s position will now be the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament, expected to start in the next legislative cycle.

 

Background

A recent Eurobarometer survey showed 90% of Europeans support stricter rules for environmental claims. This directive, part of the European Green Deal, aims to enhance transparency and help achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050.

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