Authors: Rory Sullivan, Robert Black, Richard Perkins and Clare Richards

Lobbying by companies on climate change refers to efforts of companies and of their agents to directly or indirectly influence climate-significant policy decision-making by political or bureaucratic actors. This policy brief describes the nature and characteristics of climate lobbying by companies and its influence on climate change policy. From this analysis, it offers recommendations to private and public actors on how to govern climate lobbying by companies so that this lobbying does not undermine implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Main messages

  • Lobbying by companies on climate change can have a significant positive or negative impact on the stringency and effectiveness of public climate policy – both policies that are directly concerned with climate change and policies that may impact on climate change, such as fiscal or energy policy.
  • Lobbying by companies in support of climate change action can help accelerate the development and implementation of policies to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Lobbying by some companies and their trade associations and industry alliances has often attempted to impede the adoption, stringency and implementation of public climate policy.
  • Companies should have effective governance and oversight processes to ensure that their lobbying, and that of their trade associations and industry alliances, does not undermine efforts to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement by delaying, diluting or preventing effective climate policy that is aligned with the treaty.
  • Lobbying activities must also become more transparent, enabling scrutiny and evaluation by other stakeholders, thereby enhancing the accountability of companies and of Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  • Governments should consider instating mechanisms for ensuring the transparency of lobbying on climate change by companies.

Read the accompanying commentary: ‘What role should institutional investors be taking in the governance of corporate climate change lobbying?

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