Is consumer protection relevant to climate change?
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Is consumer protection relevant to climate change?

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Is consumer protection relevant to climate change? Is consumer protection relevant to climate change? Presentation Transcript

  •  
  • Is consumer protection relevant to climate change? Gordon Renouf CHOICE National Consumer Congress 2008
  • Overview
    • Is consumer protection relevant …
    • … to public policy on Climate Change
    • … to individual consumer choices
    View slide
  • Climate change is an externality
    • “ … we should worry about costs and benefits missing from the market transaction. … our marginal pricing should reflect those externality costs accurately.
    • “ whatever society decides about the seriousness of the externality, externality charges are the most efficient way to deal with it.”
    View slide
  • .. Voluntary action also essential
    • Shaky information about cost
    • Taxes and standards are negotiated
    • Policy responses are delayed
    • Voluntary action promotes innovation
    • Need integrated public and vol action
  • Consumers and government action
    • Consumers pay the price of policy
      • … we don’t want a lemon
      • … equity is important
    • Consumer voice
  • Consumer action
    • Consumer’s right to choose
    • Innovation
    • Participation builds constituency for change
  • Consumers are interested but confused
    • 75% of US/UK consumers are concerned about climate change but don’t know what they can do to make a difference
    www.consumersinternational.org/climate
  • Supporting consumer action
    • Confidence
    • Motivation
    • 200 claims on non-food in one small supermarket
    • 61% of companies expect to increase profits
    How significant is green marketing?
  • Greenwash? Not so eco credit card .The CHOICE shonky for Greenwash Regulator probes Woolies' green claim
  • Responding to Greenwash
    • ACCC Guidelines
    • + accurate information about alternatives
    • + choice restriction
  • Dob in a dodgy green claim
  • Conclusions
    • Consumers need to heard in policy development
  • Conclusions
    • Consumers need to heard in policy development
    • Mandatory responses and voluntary responses should be mutually reinforcing
  • Conclusions
    • Consumers need to heard in policy development
    • Mandatory responses and voluntary responses should be mutually reinforcing
    • Good consumer protection is VITAL
      • to protect consumers’ rights
      • to activate competition and innovation
      • to ‘save the planet’
  • Thank you www.choice.com.au Going carbon neutral? Price comparison: Green Power Greywater systems Getting around on a bike Carbon offsets for flights Fairtrade: Why it makes a difference Recent Choice Stories