Each year, oil and gas companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying to block or delay federal and state regulation designed to avert the climate crisis. They do this through their direct lobbying and through that of their trade associations. Many publicly traded corporations are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which despite a recent statement acknowledging the reality of anthropogenic climate change, continues to fight progress on climate-related regulation and legislation.
And although a number of corporations have left ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, in protest, many companies are still members. ALEC crafts model legislation at the state level like the Stand Your Ground bill that enabled the murder of Trayvon Williams in Florida. On climate issues, ALEC-inspired legislation challenges legislation and regulations trying to shift the economy to clean and renewable sources of energy.
Too many trade associations taking anti-climate positions are working on behalf of a subset of their members embedded in the fossil fuel economy, to the detriment of those whose operations and supply chains are threatened by the climate crisis. Because trade associations can’t be compelled to disclose either their membership or their sources of funding, they essentially provide a cloak of invisibility for companies.
ICCR members argue that companies that lobby against climate policy are engaging in short-sighted behavior which heightens their risk of significant expense when governments “catch up”, coupled with the fact that they are exacerbating the climate crisis, increasing risk and the cost of addressing the problem by delaying government response. To stay below a 1.5O C temperature rise, we will need strong market signals to reduce emissions and incentivize a shift to a clean energy economy.
For companies pursuing challenging GHG reduction targets, effective climate policy would serve as wind in their sails. Given the worsening climate crisis and associated risks, our members are pushing companies to align their climate actions and policies with objectives of the Paris Accord.
Net-Zero by 2050. ICCR has launched a focused campaign to assist investors in engaging companies on the alignment of their corporate climate lobbying, including through trade associations, with a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Our members seek:
1. To encourage companies to advance public policies consistent with the goals of the Paris Accord (net zero emissions by 2050), by:
- increasing the amount and quality of information that companies disclose regarding their advocacy on climate policy;
- persuading companies concerned about the climate crisis to prioritize climate in their list of lobbying priorities;
2. To persuade companies to align their trade association memberships with the goals of the Paris Accord (net zero emissions by 2050):
- by working within their trade associations to ensure the latter’s lobbying is consistent with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and,
- by aligning the company’s trade association memberships, and contributions to other groups that directly or indirectly impact climate policy, with the Paris goals.