Major multinational companies make heavy use of trade associations that are lobbying against EU climate policy and should assess whether these views are aligned with their stated sustainability policies, according to research by the Policy Studies Institute at the UK’s University of Westminster.
The research focused on eight EU trade associations and their work around structural reforms to the EU ETS and the 2030 EU energy and climate framework. It compared this to company declarations compiled by CDP.
It refers to Unilever’s downgrading of its membership last year to lobby group BusinessEurope and BASF’s membership to chemical industry association Cefic, which lobbied against backloading, while also being part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
“Companies which are making strong commitments to deal with climate change need to ensure that their trade associations are singing from the same hymn sheet. The EU has been an international leader in taking policy measures to combat climate change. In the run-up to COP21 in Paris, this leadership should not be undermined by trade associations lobbying to protect narrow, short-term industrial interests at the expense of the EU economy and the global climate in the long term,” said Ben Fagan-Watson, lead researcher and Research Fellow at the insitute.
The eight trade associations studied were:
- Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI);
- EUROFER – The European Steel Association;
- Eurometaux – The European Association of Metals;
- Cefic – The European Chemical Industry Council;
- FuelsEurope (formerly known as EUROPIA);
- International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP).