The implications for research on carbon labels

Published: 11 August 2022

Author: Dror Etzion

Publication: Nature Climate Change, Correspondence article, Published online 04 August, 2022


A recent review article surveyed the state of research on carbon labels, with a focus on optimal design in terms of validity and effectiveness. This has at least three implications for research on carbon labels. There are both many carbon labels to choose from and also a great many product categories for which these labels are available. This suggests that researchers should study the causes as well as consequences of carbon label proliferation.

In encouraging consumers to assess whether to buy item A or item B, carbon labels create a choice architecture that is constrictive, making other options less apparent. If we consider that many businesses do not take meaningful action to substantially reduce their emissions, then we cannot assume that their efforts on carbon labels depart from their overall carbon strategy.

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