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This report is being release in conjunction with InfluenceMap's revamped, interactive CA100+ platform which contains additional analysis covering the climate lobbying of CA100+ target companes.
InfluenceMap analysis of the world's largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters shows widespread failure to address links to industry associations lobbying counter to the Paris Agreement.
Engagement with companies over their lobbying practices is now firmly on the investor agenda on climate change. It's an integral part of the Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) investor-engagement process (now 545 investors with a total of $52 trillion in signatory assets under management). It also remains the subject of numerous shareholder resolutions at companies, including Rio Tinto, ExxonMobil and General Motors. InfluenceMap maintains the world's largest database of lobbying on climate by companies and industry associations. Our scoring and analysis of CA100+ companies can be found on our CA100+ platform here.
Investor expectations, formalized by investor-representatives such as the PRI, IIGCC, and Ceres (members of the CA100+ secretariat), require companies to adopt Paris-aligned climate lobbying positions, and also to implement enhanced governance and disclosure processes to ensure industry associations alignment to these positions. High-level indicators cover company commitments reflecting these expectations under the CA100+'s Net-Zero Company Benchmark.
Just 24 of 167 CA100+ target companies have produced a review of industry association alignment on climate change as of 12 April 2021. This report assesses and ranks these 24 companies on their reviews' accuracy, scope, and transparency. It finds that none of the 24 CA100+ companies have met investor expectations in full, although the 2021 release from Royal Dutch Shell leads. Several companies (e.g., BASF, BHP) have produced reviews that provide examples of strong performance on one or two criteria but fall down in other key areas.
Instead, there is a clear trend of poor transparency on industry association lobbying. All 24 companies appear to "cherry-pick" nominally positive, high-level climate positions from their industry associations when assessing alignment, overlooking sometimes substantial evidence of obstructive lobbying on climate-related policy. This approach misleads investors on the lack of material and real-world improvements made by their industry associations on climate change.
Nine companies (AGL Energy, BHP, BP, Equinor, Eni, Origin Energy, Shell, Total, and Woodside) have now taken the decisive step of leaving or suspending memberships to industry associations opposing Paris-aligned climate policy. However, underlying problems with the review process mean that action to identify and address misalignments has been highly inconsistent.
The research, which draws from InfluenceMap's database of industry association lobbying, identifies many more relationships between the companies assessed and misaligned industry associations that have gone unchecked. Amongst the broader CA100+ company universe, 91% hold at least one membership to an industry association with lobbying practices holding back the Paris Agreement.
This report contains analysis that is up to date as of the 12 April 2021. With more CA100+ company disclosures expected in 2021, InfluenceMap will update this analysis on a rolling basis. This report includes examples of better practice to be used as a resource for developing more comprehensive minimum standards of practice.