The 2019–2024 European Commission's major political project is an ecological modernization of our societies to act against climate change while increasing people's quality of life. It will be crucial that policies are designed and implemented with consumers in mind to ensure the buy-in of large parts of the European population. In this paper, BEUC gives a first reflection on the European Green Deal (EGD) and recommends on what needs to be improved to make this project a success.
BEUC emphasizes that:
- Structural changes and the creation of new infrastructures are crucial to allow consumers to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. This concerns primarily food, housing, mobility and the products and day-to-day services.
- Consumers need the right price signals in all areas. Today, the sustainable choice is often the burdensome or expensive one while the vision must be that in the future the sustainable choice is the easy and affordable one for transport, heating our homes, food and the products we use every day.
- Consumer information alone cannot replace a thorough change in the way products are made. While being beneficial when well designed and implemented, information has serious limitations and should come second to ambitious action on mandatory product policies.
- Consumer organizations can and must play an important role in engaging consumers in the green transition. The Commission should therefore better link consumer policy to the Green Deal implementation to provide for the best outcome.
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