The Federal Trade Commission is planning to host a public workshop on January 8, 2008 to examine the emerging market for carbon offsets (i.e., greenhouse gas emission reduction products) and renewable energy certificates, and related advertising claims. The workshop will focus on consumer protection issues in these markets, such as consumer perception of carbon offset and REC advertising claims and substantiation for such claims. This workshop is one component of the Commission’s regulatory review of the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (16 CFR Part 260), which the FTC is announcing in a separate, concurrent Federal Register notice.* For questions related to the workshop, contact Hampton Newsome, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, at 202-326-2889.
- Agenda (includes links to transcripts and speaker presentations)
- Speaker Biographies
- Press Release (November 26, 2007)
- Federal Register Notice
announcing this workshop [PDF]
- Comments filed in response
- More information about the Green Guides Review
The event is free and open to the public. Due to the large number of pre-registrants, the FTC's Conference Center is approaching full capacity; and therefore, pre-registration for this workshop is closed. However, there will be some seating available on a first-come first-served basis for those who have not pre-registered. Please note that on-site registration begins at 8:15 am on Tuesday, January 8th.
You also can view the event remotely via webcast. Return to this page on January 8th for a link to the webcast.
All attendees will be required to display a current driver's license or other valid form of photo identification. The Conference Center is accessible to people with disabilities. If you need an accommodation related to a disability, please call Elaine Meyer, Honors Paralegal, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, at 202-326-2795.
FILING A COMMENT — Deadline: January 25, 2008
The Commission invites interested persons to submit written comments on issues related to this workshop.
Comments should be captioned “Carbon Offset Workshop – Comment, Project No. P074207” and submitted according to the instructions below.
To File Electronically:
Follow the instructions and fill out the form at https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-carbonworkshop.
To File in Paper Form:
Include “Carbon Offset Workshop – Comment, Project No. P074207” both in the text and on the envelope, and mail or deliver to the following address:
Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Room H-135 (Annex O)
Washington, DC 20580
Because postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay, please consider submitting your comments in electronic form, as prescribed above. The FTC requests that you send any comment by courier or overnight service, if possible.
To Request Confidential Treatment:
You must file in paper form and clearly label the first page of the document with “Confidential” and comply with Commission Rule 4.9 (c).
Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.
CONSUMER EDUCATION & BUSINESS GUIDANCE
- Sorting Out 'Green' Advertising Claims [PDF]
The FTC, in cooperation with the EPA, has developed guidelines for advertisers to ensure that their environmental marketing claims don't mislead consumers. Here are six tips to help you sort through environmental claims.
- Advertising Retail Electricity and Natural Gas [PDF]
Advises utilities suppliers how to make truthful marketing claims.
- Complying with the Environmental Marketing Guides [PDF]
The Guides indicate how the Federal Trade Commission will apply Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices, to environmental marketing claims.
- Green Packaging Claims
The Federal Trade Commission is planning to host a public workshop on April 30, 2008, to examine developments in green packaging claims and consumer perception of such claims.
* The Commission reviews all of its rules and guides periodically. These reviews seek information about the costs and benefits of the Commission’s existing rules and guides and their regulatory and economic impact. The information obtained during these reviews assists the Commission in identifying rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission.