Research Group for Climate, Energy and Environmental Law

Presentation on competition law and sustainability at the Norwegian Competition Authority's sustainability conference

On 18 November, Associate Professor Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui gave a presentation at the Norwegian Competition Authority's sustainability conference about sustainability and competition law, and how we can work for a "green(er) competition law".

Ignacio og konkurransetilsynet

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On Friday 18 November 2022, the Norwegian Competition Authority held its sustainability conference on how competition policy can contribute to the green shift. It was a successful event with discussions between companies, industry organizations, researchers, and government actors. One of the researchers who contributed to the discussion was associate professor and head of the research group for natural resources, environment and development law, Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui. 

The presentation focused on how sustainability can be given a greater emphasis in competition law. "Sustainability" has traditionally been associated with "green sustainability", i.e., reducing CO2 emissions, environmental protection and developing renewable energy sources. However, the term has three dimensions; one social, environmental and one economic. The latter implies that competition law is not necessarily an obstacle to environmental protection and substantiates that sustainability and competition law are not necessarily mutually exclusive considerations. On the contrary, Anchustegui emphasized that the complexity of the traditional climate and environmental challenges requires that we also have a “green” competition law. 

In recent decades there has been an increasingly focus on sustainability in competition law. There are also several national and international regulations, which also apply in the area of competition law, e.g., the Norwegian constitution act, Section 112 and the Paris Agreement, but also legal principles, objectives and tools from the EU/EEA. To coordinate sustainability and competition law, Anchustegui pointed to the importance of using existing instruments to protect and promote sustainability in competition law. In this connection, regulations and industry policies can be used more actively. However, as he emphasized, competition law is just one of several measures to solve the climate challenges in a long-term perspective.  

The research group looks forward to learning more about sustainability and competition law in the future!