Strong Industry Pushback Ahead of EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ Climate Package

July 07 2021

Strong Industry Pushback Ahead of EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ Climate Package

New analysis identifies battleground policy areas

Key industry groups in Europe are actively lobbying against efforts to implement the EU's short-term climate goals ahead of the bloc's 'Fit for 55' package, despite many of the same groups publicly supporting net zero by 2050.

If successful, this pushback could undermine key policies that scientists say are urgently needed to credibly move towards carbon neutrality.

InfluenceMap's analysis of 216 industry groups that have responded to EU consultations shows 92% back the EU's 2050 net zero target. However, when it comes to short-term goals, only 36% support the plan to cut emissions by 55% by 2030.

The European Commission is due to unveil its 'Fit for 55' package this week, which will lay out what steps are needed to ensure the EU meets its new 2030 target.

InfluenceMap's in-depth analysis of 20 key European industry groups shows how they are lobbying on various 'Fit for 55' policy areas.

It identifies that the most oppositional organizations are those that represent the transportation sectors and heavy industry, including steel and chemical. These, in turn, are funded by some of Europe's largest companies, including Volkswagen, LafargeHolcim, TotalEnergies, Repsol, and ArcelorMittal - all of which have net zero commitments.

On specific policy areas, the analysis shows:

The most intense industry engagement has been on the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) as well as the proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). Reforms to beef up the Renewable Energy Directive and remove fossil fuel subsidies under the Energy Taxation Directive have both sparked intense lobbying battles, with the power and renewables sectors advocating greater ambition with pushback from energy intensive sectors and the fossil fuel value chain. The aviation (Airlines for Europe) and shipping (European Community Shipowners' Associations) industry groups are the most misaligned with the EU's attempts to implement Paris Agreement goals. The power sector has evolved into a leading advocate on an ambitious European climate agenda, with Eurelectric - the utility sector’s primary representative at the EU level - supported by highly progressive, renewables-focused groups such as WindEurope.

InfluenceMap analyst Venetia Roxburgh said: "Both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have stressed the importance of short-term policy action in order to deliver net zero by the middle of the century.

"This analysis shows that although major corporations in Europe say they support net zero by 2050, there has been significant pushback from their industry groups against the EU's 2030 target and the 'Fit for 55' policies required to achieve that objective.

"This disconnect between top line corporate rhetoric and the industry lobbyists puts Europe’s efforts to align its climate policy agenda with the goals of the Paris Agreement at risk.

"The reality is that having a long-term climate target doesn't mean much if there is no clear pathway to make it happen."

Full report, graphics, and quotes at this landing page.

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Simon Cullen, Communications Manager, InfluenceMap (London)

simon.cullen( @ )influencemap.org