US Chamber of Commerce

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
All Sectors
Washington DC, United States

The US Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) has been actively opposed to regulation on climate change in the US. In 2017, Chamber sponsored and publicized research criticizing the US’s GHG emission reduction pledge under the Paris Agreement, which was subsequently used by the Trump Administration to justify pulling the US out of the agreement in 2017. Furthermore, in March 2019, the US Chamber’s Global Energy Institute submitted detailed criticism of the US’s obligation under the Paris Agreement to US House Representatives, arguing that the US’s GHG emissions target commitments under the Agreement were “completely unrealistic.” A month later, just before the Trump Administration’s efforts to finalize this move, the US Chamber altered its position, stating instead that it supported US participation in the deal. It is unclear however if the Chamber’s position on the US’s pledge to reduce 26-29% of emissions by 2030 (baseline 2005) has also changed.

The Chamber’s new 2019 climate position statement nominally shifts to a more positive stance on climate, further arguing that "inaction is not an option" and recognizing the "critical role" of governments in tackling climate change. The statement sharply contrasts with the organization’s lobbying record: the Chamber has consistently opposed regulatory intervention on climate, including advocating for the repeal of the use of a ‘social-cost of carbon’ in policymaking in 2017, calling it "bad regulatory policy.” The Chamber also fought for the repeal of the Clean Power Plan - the US’s proposal under the Obama administration to regulate GHG emissions from electricity generating units – including through leading legal action from 2015 to 2019. This has included active support for the Trump Administration’s far weaker “ACE” rule replacement, which is projected to have a severely limited impact on GHG emission reductions.

The Chamber has, in particular, opposed regulation that would limit unabated coal in the energy mix. In February 2019, the US Chamber further supported the repeal of a rule under the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards that would have tied the construction of new coal plants to the use of carbon capture and storage. The Chamber has opposed fossil fuel phase-out, including publishing a report on the economic cost of the ‘Keep it in the Ground’ movement in December 2018, claiming that it cost the US “$91.9 billion in domestic economic activity and eliminated nearly 730,000 job opportunities”.

In 2019, the organization wrote a letter to US Senators opposing the proposed Green New Deal. Rather than restrictions on GHG emitting fuels and practices, the Chamber’s 2019 policy proposals focus on raising government funding to develop technologies that may reduce GHG emissions in the future. This includes carbon capture technologies and other initiatives to “improve the efficiency, effectiveness, costs and environmental performance” of GHG emissions intensive energy sources such as coal and natural gas. It is not clear how such a program would achieve emission reductions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, the Chamber has continued to heavily push for policy measures that will increase US fossil fuel production, including measures to aid increased offshore, Arctic, and non-conventional oil and gas production. For example, in February 2019, the organization took further legal action to support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures EU Register
Climate Science Transparency
0 -1 NA 0 -1 NS NA NA
Climate Science Stance
0 -1 NA -2 NS -1 NA NA
Need for Climate Regulation
-1 -1 NA -1 -2 -1 NA NA
UN Treaty Support
0 -1 NA -1 -2 -2 NA NA
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
-1 -1 NA -2 -2 NS NA NA
Emissions Trading
-2 -1 NA NS -2 NS NA NA
Energy Efficiency Standards
0 -1 NA 0 1 NS NA NA
Renewable Energy Legislation
0 -1 NA -2 0 NS NA NA
Energy Policy and Mix
0 -1 NA 0 -1 0 NA NA
GHG Emission Standards
-1 -1 NA -2 -1 -2 NA NA
Disclosure on Relationships