Initiative on empowering consumers in the green transition – state of play

von | Jan 25, 2022 | Arbeitsgremium International, Verbandspositionen

Initiative on empowering consumers in the green transition – state of play

The initiative on Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition, Action 4 in the New Consumer Agenda, aims at enhancing consumer rights by enabling consumers to take informed purchasing decisions and protecting them against certain unfair commercial practices. This will empower consumers to make more sustainable consumption choices, and therefore to contribute to a circular, clean and green EU economy. The initiative will do this by amending two directives that protect the economic interest of consumers at Union level: the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive 2005/29/EC and the Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU.
Besides the New Consumer Agenda the initiative was announced in the Circular Economy Action Plan1 and follows up on the European Green Deal2.
Under the initiative, consumers will be provided with better information on the durability and reparability of products before concluding a contract. They will also be better protected against unfair commercial practices that prevent sustainable purchases, such as:
– greenwashing practices (i.e. misleading environmental claims),
– early obsolescence practices (i.e. premature failures of goods)
– the use of unreliable and non-transparent sustainability labels and information tools.

State of play
The initiative is currently being prepared in close coordination with two other EU-level initiatives under preparation, which will complement the initiative: the Green Claims initiative and the Sustainable Products initiative. The objective of the Green Claims initiative will be to introduce certain requirements in relation to environmental claims on products and organisations when made both by businesses towards consumers and by businesses towards other businesses. The initiative would establish methodological requirements on how environmental claims are communicated and substantiated. The Sustainable Products initiative will build on the current Eco-design Directive 2009/125/EC in order to introduce sustainability requirements for a wider range of products that enter the EU market.
Next steps:
– all three proposals are scheduled for adoption by the European Commission by the end of March 2022
– once the proposals are adopted, the co-legislators begin their decision-making

You can download the One-pager here (PDF)

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