Attorneys General Warn Financial Institutions Of Antitrust Violations Over Climate Activism

Twenty-two state attorneys general, led by Tennessee’s Johnathan Skrmetti, are warning financial services companies that they may be violating antitrust and consumer protection laws by engaging in a climate activist alliance aimed at achieving net zero carbon emissions.

The letter to financial services providers that are signatories to the Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance (NZFSPA), which is identified as “a global group of Service Providers committed to supporting the goal of global net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.”

“We are writing to express our concern that your NZFSPA commitments may violate state and federal law, including antitrust laws and consumer protection laws,” the letter states. “Although many NZFSPA signatories are direct competitors with each other, they nevertheless commit to using their market influence to enforce their collective climate agenda in the broader economy.”

The attorneys general also remarked that “many companies may have no choice but to comply with your policy preferences, requiring them to restrict further the variety and output of goods and services that are not ‘aligned’ with your activist climate agenda” because of the “extraordinary market power of participants in the agreement.”

The alliance includes numerous powerful companies, including Deloitte, EY, Bloomberg, KPMG, and S&P Global.

The attorneys general highlight potentially problematic aspects of the alliance, such as an agreement among signatories to “coordinate their agenda with numerous other climate-activist pressure groups” and “coordinate their market pressure” to achieve the aims of the NZFSPA.

It goes on to request that the signatories “describe in detail all communications related to your commitments to NZFSPA,” as well as communications concerning membership in GFANZ. Signatories are also asked to describe actions they have taken to fulfill their NZFSPA obligations, as well as ways in which they have “materially deviated from your NZFSPA commitments.” The letter requests that the information be provided by October 13th.

“If financial service providers are colluding to limit consumer choices and manipulate market outcomes in support of international climate activists, that could violate our antitrust and consumer protection laws,” Tennessee Attorney General Johnathan Skrmetti explained in a statement. “Decisions about energy policy should be made by our elected representatives, not by transnational corporate alliances.”Will Hild, Executive Director of Consumer’s Research, lauded the attorneys general for “their important work defending consumers from yet another net zero conspiracy.

“Financial services providers must understand that no matter what virtue signaling label they slap on it, collusion between members of an industry to drive up costs for Americans is immoral and illegal,” Hild said, pointing out the “massive potential liabilities” associated with the alliance. “They should cooperate with the investigation, and most importantly, stop conspiring against the public. No financial service provider has a legitimate reason to be part of NZFSPA.”

The letter comes after several insurance companies left the alliance following a previous letter from 23 attorneys general warning the companies of potential legal ramifications associated with their involvement in the alliance.

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