Increasingly, industry players at both the investor and corporate level desire to collaborate on sustainability goals like achieving global net zero GHG emissions. Antitrust law, aimed at fostering robust competition in markets, is perceived as a barrier to these collaborations. Questions and confusion about what forms of collaboration are permissible under the law have new urgency. Activities such as joint standard-setting, shared norms or practices, joint ventures, information sharing, output restriction, and other forms of competitor collaborations are being challenged and revisited.
Competition authorities in Europe, the UK, China, Japan, and elsewhere have taken steps to “green” antitrust law and enforcement, in some cases by inserting exemptions into the law or guidelines for sustainability-related collaborations. Do these exemptions risk undermining competition policy goals, or even pro-sustainability goals? In what other ways might competition policy incorporate sustainability concerns (e.g. through merger review and consumer protection)? As politically-motivated anti-ESG pushback further muddies the waters in the US, how can antitrust enforcers, lawyers, and researchers parse what types of prosocial private-sector collaborations can truly support planetary goals while providing clarity for private-sector actors?
Co-hosted by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
Maurits Dolmans – Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
William E. Kovacic – Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy; George Washington University
Jeff D. Martino – Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP; Former Chief of DOJ Antitrust Division, New York Office
Catherine McKenna – Canada’s former Minister of Environment and Climate Change as well as Minister of Infrastructure; Principal of Climate and Nature Solutions; Chair of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero commitments of
business, financial institutions, cities and regions; Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Columbia University
Moderated by Denise Hearn – Co-author, The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition