Trade associations lag behind companies on climate action – report

(EurActiv, 22 May 2019) More and more companies are transitioning to climate-friendly business practices. But a study by the British think tank InfluenceMap shows that trade associations representing them in Brussels are lagging behind. EURACTIV Germany reports.

In a study published on Tuesday (21 May), British think tank InfluenceMap analysed the weight of trade associations on EU climate policy. There is still a “significant pattern of
opposition to Paris-aligned climate policy,” the report said.

The report examined the lobbying activities of eight major industry associations between 2015 and 2019, paying particular attention to their influence on climate policies.

It revealed a clear trend: trade associations are lagging behind the companies they represent when it comes to climate protection policies.

The automotive sector, a key industry in Germany, was rated particularly badly. But the heavy-duty industry also received a poor rating.

“Companies in the steel, metal and chemical industries have played a massive role in negotiations for the reform of the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS). They have tried to obtain as many free certificates allocated by EU member states as possible,” explained Edward Collins of InfluenceMap.

And they were quite successful: companies accounting for 90% of industrial emissions continue to be on the EU list for free CO2 allowances. Their modus operandi is well known. In September last year, EURACTIV published an internal document from BusinessEurope, which spelled out the EU employer group’s tactics to prevent tighter CO2 emission standards on industry.

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EurActiv, 22 May 2019: Trade associations lag behind companies on climate action – report