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January 23, 2024

EU Parliament Takes Bold Step Against Greenwashing

In a landmark decision, the European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a directive aimed at curbing greenwashing and promoting environmental transparency. The vote, which took place during a Parliament meeting in Strasbourg on January 17, saw an impressive 593 MEPs supporting the directive, with only 21 opposing its implementation. Although the directive is still awaiting EU Council approval, this is predicted to happen quickly

The directive aims to put an end to misleading or ambiguous green claims made by businesses selling within the EU. Terms such as 'eco-friendly,' 'environmentally friendly,' 'natural,' 'recycled,' and 'biodegradable' are specifically targeted, requiring businesses to substantiate such claims with credible evidence.

A significant focus of the directive is on claims supported by carbon offsetting. Businesses will be prohibited from labelling their products or services as 'climate-neutral' or 'carbon-neutral' if reliant on offsetting.

The directive also addresses misleading claims that combine specific product progress with a company's overall environmental impact. 

The changes are set to come into force in early 2026, with EU member states having a two-year window to incorporate the directive into their national laws.

It's important to note that due to Brexit, these rules do not apply in the UK. However, the ripple effect on UK-based businesses selling into EU markets is expected.

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