Labour launch Bill to introduce carbon labelling

25 March 2021
  • Bill would introduce carbon footprint information on all products

Labour climate spokesperson Duncan Smith has today introduced a Bill into Dáil Éireann which would introduce carbon labelling on all products. The National Standards Authority of Ireland (Carbon Footprint Labelling) Bill 2021 would empower consumers to make decisions based on the carbon footprint of a products, placing an obligation on the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) to define a standard approach to carbon labelling. Making consumer decisions fact-based, the Bill is one small way to build in climate action into the Irish economy and put power at the hands of consumers.

Deputy Smith said:

“We want to make it easier for people to take small steps to reduce their impact on the environment. Our Bill would do this by giving consumers information about the environmental impact of products. If enacted, shoppers could compare and contrast products and choose a more sustainable item should they wish to do so. It empowers people with information.

“In the same way that people have nutritional data to manage their health, carbon data would let people can manage their climate impact. Research suggests that nutritional labelling reduced consumers’ intake of calories by almost 7% – there is a clear opportunity to help people to do the same with their carbon footprint. We are hounded by buzzwords and slogans, and flag flying by corporates on their green credentials that we don’t have the time or information to fully understand. This Bill appoints the NSAI to provide independent and comparable figures, that include corporates’ processes and practices, in recognisable and reliable standard measures. This will shine a light on businesses and showcase the best in class in producing in a climate efficient way.

“By putting carbon labelling on products, we’re putting an awareness of the steps we can take to slow climate change into people’s everyday lives. No one person or organisation will solve climate change, it’s all about the incremental changes we can make on a daily basis. This Bill would empower people to make those changes. This needs to be done in conjunction with a wider information campaign on people’s carbon footprints and impact of the products and processes they use on the environment, and I call on the Minister to support the provisions of my Bill and work constructively together.

“As we look to build a post-pandemic Ireland, we must put climate action at the heart of every step we take in rebuilding communities, society and the economy. In achieving an equal Ireland, where we bridge the gap and end inequality, where we have decent jobs and homes in bustling communities, climate cooling measures should be the foundation of every economic decision we make.”

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