Green Antitrust: (More) Friendly Fire in the Fight against Climate Change

This is an updated and extended version of the paper published in: Holmes, S., D. Middelschulte and M. Snoep (eds.), Competition Law, Climate Change & Environmental Sustainability, Concurrences, 2021.

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-72

Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2020-07

27 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2020 Last revised: 11 Nov 2021

See all articles by Maarten Pieter Schinkel

Maarten Pieter Schinkel

University of Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Leonard Treuren

KU Leuven - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 15, 2020

Abstract

The green antitrust movement aims to increase sustainability efforts by allowing restrictions of competition. Yet the economic evidence so far points to more, not less, competition as the right stimulus for inducing sustainability efforts. Incentives to produce more sustainably are stronger when firms compete than when they are allowed to make sustainability agreements. This is also true when firms are intrinsically motivated to promote sustainability. It is not good policy to relax the general competition rules in order to accommodate the rare genuine sustainability agreement. However well-intended, green antitrust risks damaging both competition and the environment. It will suppress the gathering market forces for companies to produce more sustainably, overburden competition authorities, invite abusive cartel greenwashing, and give the part of government that should promote sustainability further excuse to shun their responsibility for designing proper regulation.


Keywords: sustainability, competition, cartel, corporate social responsibility, greenwashing, regulation

JEL Classification: H41, K21, L40

Suggested Citation

Schinkel, Maarten Pieter and Treuren, Leonard, Green Antitrust: (More) Friendly Fire in the Fight against Climate Change (December 15, 2020). This is an updated and extended version of the paper published in: Holmes, S., D. Middelschulte and M. Snoep (eds.), Competition Law, Climate Change & Environmental Sustainability, Concurrences, 2021., Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-72, Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2020-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3749147 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3749147

Maarten Pieter Schinkel (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
1018 WB Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 525 7132 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5318 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

Leonard Treuren

KU Leuven - Department of Economics ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/leonardtreuren/home

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,168
Abstract Views
3,248
rank
23,160
PlumX Metrics