The European Union has announced that it will seek to enact a new law to combat misinformation by banning the use of ‘climate neutral’ product claims by 2026.

For the law to be successfully introduced, it still needs to receive final approval from EU member states and the parliament’s plenary assembly. This comes as institutions around the globe seek to crack down on the practice of greenwashing.

Commenting on this, Freeths partner and greenwashing lawyer, Iona Silverman, said: “This latest EU proposal would make the bloc the strictest regime globally in terms of greenwashing legislation.

“In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority said recently that claims such as “carbon neutral” and “net zero” are not appropriate unless additional information is provided to clarify what exactly is meant. Otherwise, brands run the risk of misleading the public.

“In my view, most consumers simply don’t understand the difference between “carbon neutral” and “net zero”, but they generally want to make the right choices. There must be an onus on brands to explain what they are doing and what meaningful impact those actions have on the environment.”

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