Exclusive House Committee Report Finds Wall Street ‘Colluding’ to Cut Emissions

By Isla Binnie

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. congressional committee will accuse Wall Street’s largest firms on Tuesday, in a report seen by Reuters ahead of publication, of collusion with advocacy groups to force companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse.

The report is the first of its kind produced by the House of Representatives’ Republican-led Judiciary Committee since it launched an investigation in late 2022 to determine whether corporate efforts to combat climate change violate antitrust laws.

Several Republican-controlled states are already targeting Wall Street firms that participate in climate coalitions and market investment products focused on the environment, society and corporate governance (ESG), fearing that these initiatives could harm to jobs in the fossil fuel industry.

This is despite the world failing to respect the intergovernmental agreement reached in Paris in 2015 to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

In the Judiciary Committee report, committee staff accuse President Joe Biden’s administration of failing to “meaningfully investigate climate cartel collusion, much less take enforcement action against its violations.” apparent features of long-standing U.S. antitrust law.”

“The purpose of any investigation is to inform legislative reforms,” said a spokesperson for Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan. The spokesperson declined to comment on any interaction with U.S. antitrust regulators regarding the report.

The report says it provides provisional findings and the investigation continues.

The committee issued subpoenas for documents and questioned former regulators during the investigation. Its report Tuesday focused on Climate Action 100+, a group of more than 700 investors that works to get companies to reduce their emissions, and credited its investigation with several asset managers who ended their membership this year over fears of an antitrust crackdown.

The report says Climate Action 100+ is “bullying asset managers into joining” and pressuring them to use their shareholder votes to support climate proposals, seeking to reduce fossil fuel extraction and increase energy prices for American consumers.

Climate Action 100+ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

No antitrust lawsuits have been filed against a climate business coalition.

The report also takes aim at Climate Action 100+ co-founders, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and climate-focused investor group Ceres for their key support of Climate Action 100+. It says member activist investor Arjuna Capital “seeks to destroy fossil fuel companies.”

CalPERS and Arjuna did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Ceres did not immediately comment.

The report cited work plans, meeting minutes and other documents obtained, including an email between Ceres directors comparing their work and that of…

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