An alliance of financial service providers committed to left-wing climate goals is potentially violating antitrust and consumer protection laws, 22 Republican Attorneys General said in a letter Wednesday.
Republican Attorneys General led by Tennessee AG Jonathan Skrmetti wrote a letter to the Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance (NZFSPA) warning them that the group might be violating state and federal antitrust and consumer protection laws. (RELATED: Energy Secretary Pushing Bidenomics, EVs Drives A Model Assembled In Mexico)
READ THE FULL LETTER:
“As the chief legal officers of our states, 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 begins.
“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 and to ‘[w]ork in coordination’ with other UN-convened ‘Net Zero’ groups,” the letter reads.
The NZFSPA is a group of financial service firms committed to “net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner” and fulfilling the 2015 Paris Agreement designed to reduce climate emissions, its website states, according to the letter. More specifically, NZFSPA believes relevant products and industries must target a 50% reduction in global emissions by 2030 as part of the “net zero” transition.
The Republican Attorneys Generals are concerned about NZFSPA violating antitrust laws by coordinating to use their market power to restrict trade or commerce.
“Given the extraordinary market power of participants in the agreement, 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. Moreover, many of the companies you influence will be forced to stop dealing with other companies whose practices are inconsistent with your standards,” the letter underscores.
Likewise, they warn NZFSPA members that an agreement among competitors to boycott certain industries may constitute an illegal boycott because of their combined market power. Consumer protection laws also prohibit unfair and deceptive trade practices in trade and commerce, the letter states. (RELATED: Energy Bills Could Spike For Americans This Winter Due To Below-Average Heating Oil Inventories)
BREAKING: Tennessee AG Jonathan Skrmetti, along with 21 other state attorneys general, have sent a letter to the members of the Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance (NZFSPA) putting them on notice that their coordinated actions likely violate antitrust laws. pic.twitter.com/Yru2it5u6t
— Will Hild (@WillHild) September 13, 2023
“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. Decisions about energy policy should be made by our elected representatives, not by transnational corporate alliances,” Skrmetti said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller.
The NZFSPA is part of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, a United Nations-backed global coalition of corporations working to accelerate decarbonization and transition the global economy to “net zero” emissions, its website says. The group has created “net zero” alliances in financial sectors such as asset management, banking, insurance, investment consulting and venture capital.
“Consumers’ Research commends these state 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,” Executive Director of Consumers’ Research Will Hild said in a statement to the Daily Caller.
Consumers’ Research is a consumer advocacy organization opposed to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment strategies in the finance industry.
“We hope this letter will wake up members of the alliance to finally realize the massive potential liabilities of their behavior. 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,” Hild added.
NZFSPA did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.