Trade Associations and their Climate Policy Footprint

An InfluenceMap Report
December 2017

Please use this link for all references to the report.

See coverage in Le Monde, Basel Zeitung, Impact Alpha and Pacific Standard.

  • Following InfluenceMap's Corporate Climate Policy Footprint report issued in September, we assess the 50 most influential industry groups when it comes to policy directed at greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis reveals that a relatively small group of six of the 50 most influential industry groups are supportive, mostly representing the renewable energy sectors. However, their influence is far outweighed by the other 44 on the list whose lobbying is oppositional to climate change policy.

  • Of the largest global companies, most have a net negative impact on climate policy through their trade association links. Among the 25 of the very largest corporations, Exxon, Shell, IBM, Total and Pfizer have the most negative impact on climate policy through their lobbying networks. Of this group, only Apple has a positive impact.

  • Three groups stand out as wielding huge, negative influence and all are US based - the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Between them these groups have been highly obstructive to the development of international, Federal and US state level climate policy over the last few years.

  • The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and BusinessEurope are three powerful EU based lobbying groups making the top 50 who have resisted ambitious climate policy for the last decade and continue to do so.

  • Aviation and shipping are two sectors which fall in between regulatory jurisdictions when it comes to emissions and two power industry groups the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) continue to fight against inclusion within the Paris Agreement and binding greenhouse gas emission regulations of any kind.

  • The Federation of French Industry (MEDEF) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) make this list as oppositional and immensely powerful trade associations in their national regions that are key economies and sources of GHG emissions. On the other hand, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has charted a decade-long path from opposition to broadly supportive of ambitious climate policy at the UK and EU levels and is the only cross-sector trade group to make this list as a supportive influencer.

  • Leading the charge on the supportive side are renewable energy trade groups SolarPower Europe, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and WindEurope. An energy-of-the-future advocacy group, the California based Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), whose members include tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, also makes the cut. While these groups are positive and active on climate policy in their regions, their relatively weak influence compared to the larger cross-sector trade groups like the US Chamber makes them less influential overall on climate.

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