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‘Consumers need the tools to tackle climate change’, says global consumer body

Consumers International (CI) will be representing the world’s consumer organisations at the climate change talks in Copenhagen, 7-18 December, and will demand that governments and businesses give consumers the tools they need to reduce their individual environmental impact.

Representing more than 220 consumer organisations from 115 countries, CI will be taking the message to Copenhagen that many consumers want to act on climate change, but feel unable to do so because of government inaction and a lack of genuine green alternatives from business.

Specifically, CI is calling for governments and businesses to take action on:

· Voluntary action – enable, empower, and inspire consumers to act independently to reduce their climate impact;
· Labelling – stop overplaying limited green improvements when marketing products and services, and ensure that carbon footprint labelling is clear, credible, and independently verified;
· Emissions trading – commit to real emissions reductions and stop ‘faking it’ with emissions trading schemes;
· Food – reduce the climate impact of food consumption and production, and address the impact of climate change on access to food;
· Housing – provide consumers with technology and financial incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with both new and old housing, and tackle the effects of climate change on housing;
· Transport – realise consumer rights to affordable, accessible low-carbon mobility.


Rasmus Kjeldahl, Head of Delegation for Consumers International in Copenhagen, said:
“We desperately need our leaders to seize the moment in Copenhagen and give us the tools to reduce our environmental impact as individual consumers. Without a legally binding deal we simply delay the practical actions in areas like food, housing and transport that are needed to empower consumers to move towards genuinely greener lifestyles. ”

Joost Martens, Director General of Consumers International:
“Together with government and business, consumers are the third front in the battle against climate change. Yet, while millions of consumers around the world want to reduce their impact on the planet, many feel unable to do so in a meaningful way. Consumers need incentives from governments, including leadership on where and how to make the transition, and they need businesses to make these changes feasible. ”

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