BASF

InfluenceMap Score
D+
Performance Band
49%
Organisation Score
50%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Chemicals
Head​quarters:
Ludwigshafen, Germany
Brands and Associated Companies:
Wintershall Dea, TrinamiX, BASF Coatings, Nunhems
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: BASF is actively and strategically engaged with climate change policy in Europe, taking negative positions on several key policies such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). BASF’s generally positive position on the energy transition contradicts that of its subsidiary Wintershall Dea, which advocates for a continued role for fossil gas in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: BASF seems to support climate change action in its top-line messaging with some exceptions, for example, it stresses the impacts of regional action on international competitiveness. The company stated support for the EU’s target of climate neutrality by 2050 in a position paper, accessed in January 2022. However, its subsidiary Wintershall Dea appeared to stress the need to balance the world’s rising energy demand with reducing GHG emissions in a position paper in July 2021. The German news outlet Handelsblatt reported in October 2021 that the CEO Martin Brudermüller did not support the EU and Germany’s climate ambition, stressing the risks of unilateral action and impacts on international competitiveness. In an industry association review, published in November 2021, BASF supported the need for long-term government strategies to reduce emissions, advocating for outcome- and market-oriented cost-effective regulations, and stressing that they must preserve international competitiveness. In the same review, the company stated support for global carbon pricing, but emphasized the risk of carbon and investment leakage due to unilateral action. In its 2021 Annual Report, BASF supported the UN Paris Agreement goals.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: BASF seems to engage with climate change regulations in the EU and Germany with predominantly negative positions. In May 2021, the CEO did not seem to support increasing Germany’s GHG targets, and the company advocated for “economically feasible and technologically reasonable” GHG reduction targets in the US in its Q2 2022 lobbying disclosure.

In a position paper, accessed in January 2022, BASF stressed that regional emissions trading policies can cause carbon and investment leakage due to “unilateral burdens on industry resulting from different levels of ambition,” advocating for carbon leakage protection measures and stating opposition to short-term intervention. In its 2021 CDP Climate Change Disclosure, the company did not support reforms to increase the ambition of the EU ETS, advocating for the maintenance of the free allocation of emissions allowances and indirect cost compensation. Furthermore, BASF has vocally opposed a CBAM in the EU. In response to an EU public consultation in November 2021, BASF stated there are “fundamental and probably unsolvable hurdles” in the EU Commission’s proposed CBAM and in June 2022 the CEO signed an open letter ahead of decisions in EU Parliament and Council calling on EU policymakers to weaken their proposals for a CBAM, as well as reforms to the EU ETS.

In a position paper, accessed in January 2022, BASF advocated that energy efficiency legislation should allow for increases in energy consumption. The company supported increased renewable energy production to decarbonize industry in an industry association review in November 2021. In response to an EU public consultation in November 2021, the company supported the inclusion of low-carbon hydrogen, produced with fossil gas and CCS, in the Renewable Energy Directive renewable hydrogen target.

Positioning on Energy Transition: BASF appears to support the transition of the energy mix with exceptions. In the company’s 2021 Annual Report, the CEO supported increasing the role of renewable energies in the energy mix, and in July 2021 he advocated for a policy framework to increase the production of renewable hydrogen. However, BASF’s oil and gas subsidiary, Wintershall Dea, has consistently stated support for a long-term role for fossil gas, and hydrogen produced with fossil gas in the energy mix, for example in its comments on the EU Hydrogen and Gas Decarbonisation Package in April 2022. In May 2022 Wintershall Dea CEO Mario Mehren advocated for a role for fossil gas in reaching energy independence, calling it a “clean energy source.”

Industry Association Governance: BASF disclosed a list of memberships to industry associations in its industry association review in November 2021, which outlined the associations’ positions on climate policy and a framework for reviewing alignment, but did not find any misalignments. Company executives have senior leadership roles in a number of industry associations that do not appear to be supporting key climate change policies in the EU, notably the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Cefic and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in the US. The company also retains membership of several industry associations which are lobbying negatively on climate policy, including BusinessEurope and Eurogas in the EU, and the American Chemistry Council in the US.

A detailed assessment of the company's corporate review on climate policy engagement can be found on InfluenceMap's CA100+ Investor Hub here.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
57%
 
57%
 
46%
 
46%
 
61%
 
61%
 
29%
 
29%
 
46%
 
46%
 
48%
 
48%
 
20%
 
20%
 
63%
 
63%
 
43%
 
43%
 
57%
 
57%
 
42%
 
42%
 
59%
 
59%
 
47%
 
47%
 
46%
 
46%
 
58%
 
58%
 
71%
 
71%
 
41%
 
41%
 
53%
 
53%
 
60%
 
60%
 
53%
 
53%
 
53%
 
53%
 
85%
 
85%

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.