Air France-KLM

InfluenceMap Score
D
Performance Band
46%
Organisation Score
47%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Transportation
Head​quarters:
Paris, France
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: In 2020-22, Air France-KLM has mostly negative engagement with climate-related regulations for aviation in Europe. Air France-KLM appears to have consistently opposed measures to strengthen the EU ETS for aviation, ticket taxes and an EU kerosene tax for aviation while stating top-line support for the EU’s climate targets.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: A July 2021 press release from KLM stated support for the EU's 2050 climate neutrality target and an April 2021 Climate Pledge, endorsed by Air France-KLM, appeared to support the Paris Agreement. A January 2022 position paper also communicated support for a long-term aspirational goal for aviation through ICAO, without specifying a date. However, in a March 2021 policy paper sent to EU Commission officials, Air-France KLM seemed to stress the negative impact on competitiveness from European climate action on aviation. Additionally, a March 2021 email to DG CLIMA, and an October 2021 email to DG MOVE, obtained by FOI requests, further appeared to emphasize competitiveness concerns over stringent emissions reductions regarding the Fit for 55 package.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In its 2020 CSR Report, published in 2021, Air France-KLM stated support for the global CORSIA offsetting scheme for aviation as the “sole vehicle” for global aviation emissions reductions. A January 2021 public consultation response further supported CORSIA to replace the EU ETS for international (EEA to/from non-EEA) and intra-EEA (EEA to/from EEA) flights and opposed a reduction in free emissions allowances. Similarly, in a March 2021 policy paper emailed to the EU Commission, Air-France KLM appeared to oppose reducing free emissions allowances in the EU ETS, and through the endorsement of the Aviation Alliance in January 2022, the company appeared to advocate for the exemption of intra-EU feeder flights in the EU ETS. Additionally, in a March 2021 email to DG CLIMA, accessed through FOI request, Air France-KLM appeared to support continued free emissions allowances, allocated based on a carrier’s proportion of feeder flights. However, Air France-KLM appeared to conditionally accept a reduction in free allowances under the EU ETS if accompanied by a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) in a January 2021 EU consultation response.

Air France-KLM appears to have a mixed position on an EU sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) mandate. In a March 2021 policy paper sent to EU Commission officials, Air-France KLM stated an EU SAF mandate should only be introduced in a “mature market”. According to a May 2021 Reuters article, Air France-KLM CEO, Ben Smith, opposed the application of an EU SAF mandate to long haul flights, emphasizing concerns that it would impede competitiveness with extra-EU airlines. A March 2021 email to DG CLIMA, accessed via FOI request, also stressed the risks of tankering and competitive distortion resulting from an EU SAF mandate. More positively, in February 2022 Air France and KLM both signed a joint statement generally supporting the EU's proposed SAF mandate, and advocating for more ambition in the "scale and timing" of its sub-targets for e-kerosene.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Air-France KLM appears to have advocated against an EU kerosene tax in a March 2021 policy paper sent to EU Commission officials. KLM's CEO, Pieter Elbers, further stated opposition to such a tax according to an October 2021 NRC interview. The January 2022 Aviation Alliance declaration, signed by Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith, further appears to oppose an EU kerosene tax, arguing the measure would “have negative impact on Europe’s air transport sector”. An October 2021 email to DG MOVE, accessed via FOI request, also appeared to oppose an EU kerosene tax because it “does not help to make our sector more sustainable”. Additionally, a March 2021 email to DG CLIMA, obtained by FOI request, emphasized competitiveness concerns regarding an EU fuel tax.

Regarding ticket taxes, Air France-KLM stated opposition to “fuel taxation, carbon taxation and/or ticket taxation” for aviation in France and the Netherlands in its 2021 CDP response. Air France-KLM’s September 2020 and October 2020 EU consultation responses appeared to echo this position. Emails received by freedom of information request also suggest Air France-KLM lobbied the EU Commission in March 2021 to support a “green stimulus” subsidy scheme for new aircraft purchases. According to an April 2021 Euractiv article, Air France-KLM also advocated to weaken the French ban on domestic flights.

Industry Association Governance: Air France-KLM does not appear to have published a comprehensive list of industry association memberships and has not disclosed a review of its alignment with industry associations. Air France-KLM retains board-level membership of the International Air Transport Association, which has actively lobbied against ambitious global climate policy for aviation. It is also a member of BusinessEurope and Airlines for Europe, which have generally advocated in opposition to stringent European climate policy.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
41%
 
41%
 
42%
 
42%
 
64%
 
64%
 
45%
 
45%
 
48%
 
48%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.