04.ACCC carbon guidance - a Green Watch win
In June 2008 the ACCC released two publications for consumers and business to help explain carbon claims, and the ACCC’s role in regulating them:
CHOICE’s concerns are clearly reflected in both ACCC publications. It’s a win for the CHOICE GreenWatch campaign and we will be watching out for claims that don’t measure up to the ACCC guidance.
Business will need to heed the ACCC’s guidance or risk action under the Trade Practices Act.
Consumers can use the guide to help determine which green claims in the carbon market are trustworthy.
CHOICE contributed to the ACCC guidance by discussing the issues with the ACCC and making a formal submission to their The Trade Practices Act and carbon offset claims. Our recommendations included:
- standardising carbon claims and closely monitoring them, so that consumers can be sure the carbon offsets and products they buy live up to marketing promises.
- issuing recognised guidance on what constitutes a good quality carbon offset.
CHOICE is calling on the Government to implement a standard on carbon claims as soon as possible. We are likely to see a lot more carbon marketing claims in the lead up to Australia’s emissions trading scheme. It is too much to expect consumers and the ACCC to scrutinise all the claims in such a fast moving market. So Australia needs a minimum standard for carbon offsets and carbon neutrality.