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Congress targets 'climate cartel' for violating antitrust laws by imposing ESG criteria

A report details that activists and institutions loyal to the 2030 Agenda force companies to publish data on emissions that violate competition rules.

Manifestación contra la Agenda 2030.

(David Canales / SOPA Images/Sipa USA/Cordon Press)

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The push to boost environmental, social and corporate governance factors - commonly known as ESG criteria - led Congress to examine whether supporters of the United Nations (UN) and its 2030 Agenda constitute a "climate cartel" and violate antitrust laws.

Through a provisional report called Climate Control: Exposing The Decarbonization Collusion in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing, the House Judiciary Committee detailed "new direct evidence of a 'climate cartel' consisting of left-wing activists and major financial institutions that collude to impose radical environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals on American companies."

The committee noted that this alliance "disclose their carbon emissions, reduce their carbon emissions, and enforce their disclosure and reduction commitments by handcuffing and restricting company management, adding that it has succeeded in prompting several major asset managers to withdraw from Climate Action 100+."

On the sidelines, the committee chaired by Republican Representative Jim Jordan singled out the Biden Administration for "failing to investigate the climate cartel or enforce the antitrust laws against its members."

"The Committee remains steadfast in its commitment to preserving competition and protecting the welfare of American consumers. Its investigation underscores the importance of robustly enforcing longstanding antitrust law prohibiting anticompetitive collusion against the climate cartel," he concluded.

What is Climate Action 100+?

Climate Action 100+ is "an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change in order to mitigate financial risk and to maximize the long-term value of assets."

Its three objectives are:

Implement a strong governance framework which clearly articulates the board’s accountability and oversight of climate change risk.
Take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain, including engagement with stakeholders such as policymakers and other actors to address the sectoral barriers to transition. This should be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, aiming for 1.5°C. Notably, this implies the need to move towards net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.
Provide enhanced corporate disclosure and implement transition plans to deliver on robust targets. This should be in line with the final recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and other relevant sector and regional guidance, to enable investors to assess the robustness of companies’ business plans and improve investment decision-making.

Companies from different sectors participate in this program, such as airlines (Boeing, United Airlines), pharmaceuticals (Bayer), automotive (Ford, Stellantis), consumer products (Carrefour, Danone) and conglomerates (Berkshire Hathaway) also.