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FTC to tackle carbon offset claims


Consumers! Beware! There is a raft of green advertising out there and – whisper it – some of it may be stretching the truth a little.

Greenbang has never been so taken aback since Bobby Ewing turned up in the shower after being shot dead.

For those delicate flowers that don’t have enough in built skepticism to spot marketing nonsense a mile off, the Federal Trade Commission is coming to your rescue with a review of the way companies are allowed to market their green claims. Says Business Week:

One area of particular interest is the marketing of so-called carbon offsets, or funding for activities, such as planting trees, intended to counter, or “offset,” increased emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants and other industrial sources.
Such offsets, if purchased by a company, may be used to claim that the company’s products are “carbon neutral.”

The agency said it can be difficult for consumers verify the truth of that claim, or to know if they have gotten what they paid for in the event they purchase carbon offsets directly.

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