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26 Nov 2020, 13:55
Charlotte Nijhuis

More durable consumer goods can contribute significantly to GHG reduction – study

Clean Energy Wire

Purchase decisions for durable products and their long-term use contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut) on behalf of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv). The vzbv calls on the German government to take measures at the national and European level to ensure consumers can choose durable products. "Now is the opportunity for the German government to initiate a product policy that is consumer-friendly and at the same time necessary to overcome the climate crisis”, said Klaus Müller, chairman of the VZBV.

Although consumers want products to last longer, they often lack reliable information about the durability and lifespan of products, Müller said. In light of the Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EU envisages the promotion of sustainable, durable and reparable products. Müller argues the European Commission should introduce minimum criteria for durability in EU eco-design law, as well as improve consumer information, for example by means of a repair index and mandatory information on durability. In Germany, targeted measures could already be implemented in the short term, Müller added. The current statutory warranty period of two years should be significantly increased, preferably to the expected ‘service life’ of the product, Müller argues. Short warranty periods benefit companies that manufacture defective goods and harm those who deliver quality, he said.

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