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Irish consumers see red over ‘green’ labels

HALF of all consumers are totally confused by labels on so-called ‘green’ products.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan is now spearheading an EU initiative to roll-out a single recognisable label across all member states, clearly displaying a product’s green credentials and its origin.

Following a two day meeting of environment ministers at Dublin Castle, Mr Hogan said research showed 48pc of consumers were confused by the environmental information they received. But he said he was surprised that this figure was not much higher.

The minister said it had been decided to introduce a single market for green products which would have uniform labels.

“Making it easier for consumers to buy ‘green’ will make it easier for people to make good decisions on products,” Mr Hogan told a press conference today.

He said the Government had opted to impose environmental taxes such as the carbon tax on coal and other solid fuels in preference to raising income tax and other taxes on work.

Placing taxes on products that were environmental damaging helped to protect human health at a time when the Government wanted to limit work taxes.

Accompanied by EU Environment Commissoner  Janez Potocnik and Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, Mr Hogan said the two day informal meeting had discussed the proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40pc by 2030.

He said two negotiating sessions are due to place in Bonn at the end of the month on the shape of a new global climate agreement.

The ministers had also agreed on the need for increased greening of the European economy, through issues such as greener taxes, improved eco-design, and better waste management.

Online Editors