CMA asks for views to inform sustainability advice to government

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In July, Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to provide advice to government on how the tools available under competition and consumer law can better support Net Zero and sustainability goals, including preparing for climate change, by early 2022.

The Secretary of State asked:

  • Whether, and if so how, current legal frameworks restrict or block initiatives that might support the UK’s Net Zero and sustainability goals?
  • Are there changes to the UK’s competition and consumer law that would help to achieve the UK’s Net Zero and sustainability goals?
  • Are there other opportunities within the UK’s competition and consumer policy toolbox that would support the UK’s Net Zero and sustainability goals, which the government should be considering?

Before responding to the Secretary of State, the CMA is calling for views from all interested parties to ensure it provides government with informed advice.

Sarah Cardell, the CMA’s General Counsel, commented on the announcement: “We welcome this opportunity to advise the government on these important issues, particularly as the UK prepares to host the COP26 conference.

“More than ever, it is important that public bodies, businesses, non-governmental organisations and consumers consider their contribution to the achievement of the UK’s Net Zero and environmental sustainability goals.

“We want to make sure that the competition and consumer enforcement regimes are able to play their part too.

“Supporting a wider effort to make our economy cleaner and greener is one of the CMA’s top priorities.

“That’s why we’re keen to hear from as wide a range of stakeholders as possible. This feedback will help shape the advice we give to the government.”

The Call for Inputs-document outlines the key areas the CMA is seeking information in: competition law enforcement, merger control, consumer protection law, and market investigations.

The CMA is particularly interested in hearing about specific instances where businesses or consumers felt that competition or consumer law impacted their ability to act sustainably.

The Call for Inputs will be open until 11.59pm on Wednesday 10th of November 2021.

More information about this consultation is available on the UK Government website.