EU Parliament's Efforts
Last week, the EU parliament backed new rules to improve product labelling and durability and to fight claims that amount to greenwashing.
MEPs voted to approve a proposal for a new directive to help and empower consumers for a green transition. The goal of the draft legislation is to help consumers make environmentally friendly choices while encouraging companies to offer sustainable products.
Producers of goods will need to present detailed evidence when using general environmental claims such as “environmentally friendly”, “biodegradable”, “carbon neutral” and “eco”.
The legislation also aims to ban environmental claims that are based on carbon offsetting schemes only, making claims about the whole product if the claim applies only to a part of the product, or exaggerating the durability or performance of a product.
The EU Parliament is hoping to ban design features that limit a product’s life or functionality, and push manufacturers to produce more repairable goods, and increase transparency on any product guarantees.
Biden-Harris Administration's Investment
USDA's Role and Funding
This initiative is part of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which makes the nation’s largest-ever investment in tackling the climate crisis. Funding will be provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which will offer $9.7 billion to eligible rural electric cooperatives to deploy renewable energy systems, zero-emission, and carbon capture systems. In addition, the USDA will make $1 billion available in partially forgivable loans to renewable-energy developers and electric service providers, to help finance large-scale solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower projects and energy storage in support of renewable energy systems.
The drive towards sustainability and net-zero emissions will continue to gather momentum as legislation is introduced and further financial incentives are offered.
Dr Jacqueline Faridani
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