CMA publishes new advice on sustainable consumer and competition law

From: techUK
Published: Tue Mar 15 2022

New advice published 14 March outlines the need for consumer and competition law to be environmentally reoriented.

The CMA has published advice to government on how to reform consumer and competition law to improve its delivery of environmental and sustainability benefits. Consumer law, it is argued, helps consumers make better informed decisions, while competition law is a key driver of sustainable innovation in the business community.

The document argues, however, that the sustainability benefits under the current regime are sub-optimal and may not be enough to reach net zero. In this, consumer and competition law may be barriers to a more sustainable market. The CMA suggests that regulation may be the best way to address this market failure.

The Government has been actively promoting the transition to Net Zero through several wide-ranging policies. This new advice is in line with the Government's overall strategic direction, the CMA argues. Climate change must be addressed by all sectors, and it is for this reason that the CMA encourages BEIS to pursue more sustainable competition and consumer protection regimes.

The advice comes in the form of three responses to a letter published by the Secretary of State, summaries of which are listed here:

  • changes to consumer law to make it easier for consumers to make sustainable choices and to support effective enforcement against breaches of consumer law that may give rise to environmental harm
  • encouraging greater consistency and coordination across sectors and regulatory regimes in the approach to tackling climate change
  • identifying other ways of promoting more sustainable consumption

More detail on the recommendations can be found here.

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