Business lobbying in the wake of COP21

Funded by: Tellus Mater Foundation


November 2015 to April 2016

PSI researchers:

Ben Fagan-Watson

Tom Watson

Background, summary and aims

This project, a follow-up to an earlier project, Lobbying by Trade Associations on EU Climate Policy, will track the policy positions put forward by trade groups and companies in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the UN climate talks in Paris in November 2015 (COP21).

The previous report concluded that climate change presents a range of risks and opportunities for businesses, including those presented by the introduction of policies to mitigate climate change, and robust regulation of polluting companies. Companies operating in the EU have recognised that trade associations can be a powerful tool for influencing policymakers, and are utilising them to engage with EU climate policy. It is clear from the CDP data that, for better or worse, companies and their trade associations are actively engaging with policymakers to try and mould EU climate policy.

This project will examine how businesses and trade associations have positioned themselves in relation to the agreement in Paris and to what extent this reflects the public positions of their member companies.

The researchers will:

  • Review detailed, publicly available statements of trade associations and companies on particular policy issues - for example, consultation responses, detailed policy documents, and letters from CEOs.
  • Reviews of news articles, NGO outputs and other ‘grey’ literature.
  • Interviews with representatives from trade groups, investors, companies, NGOs, journalism and other relevant fields.

In addition, the project will explore other data sources that could be usefully engaged with – for example verbal and written testimony to key committees. The researchers have also attended COP21 in person to interview key stakeholders.