Carbon Labelling will create behavioural change

Ivana Bacik TD
17 November 2021

Speaking during the Labour Party PMB on a Carbon Labelling Bill, climate spokesperson Ivana Bacik TD said an understandable and accessible carbon footprint label on products can empower consumers by enabling informed choices while putting a firm end to greenwashing by big corporations.

Deputy Bacik said:

“Consumers are increasingly demanding information about products’ carbon impact. Companies are responding and are increasingly moving to introduce their own labelling system showing, for example, the quantity of greenhouse gas emitted in the process of manufacturing and shipping products to consumers. We are seeing big multinationals increasingly signing up to do this unilaterally but we need to create a unified approach to ensure consistency and clarity on a carbon labelling approach.

“Our Bill would build on work already underway in this area, by conferring greater powers on the National Standards Authority of Ireland to develop standards to give information about the carbon footprint of commodities. It would require reporting of the greenhouse gas emissions of the manufacture, shipping, normal use, and end-of-life disposal of the product. We want to make it easier for people to take steps to help reduce their impact on the environment.

“This is hugely important. We in Labour wager that if consumers had the full and transparent information, they would change their behaviour. That is what our bill seeks to do. It places the onus on companies to stop flag-flying on climate issues. It will expose those guilty of greenwashing and will give credit to those who are taking this challenge seriously.

“As a lifelong feminist campaigner, I know about the inextricable link between global poverty, climate change and gender inequality for women. As former-President Mary Robinson said, “climate change is a man-made problem with a feminist solution.”

“The climate crisis threatens us all, but the United Nations estimates that 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. Women carry a greater portion of the responsibility for producing household food supply, and they account for most of the agricultural workforce in developing countries. As a result, women feel the effects of drought and natural disaster first. We need this legislation to reverse this tide and the worsening global inequality ahead of us due to climate change.

“Let us be pioneering and ahead of the curve. Let us place a greater responsibility on those selling their products in Ireland. This Bill will provide supports for business and consumers alike and support us all in making more sustainable choices.”

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