BMW Group

InfluenceMap Score
D+
Performance Band
55%
Organisation Score
49%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Automobiles
Head​quarters:
Munich, Germany
Brands and Associated Companies:
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Mini, BMW Motorrad
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: BMW is actively lobbying climate regulation for road transport with mostly negative engagement in 2020-22. While BMW has increasingly positive top-line statements on climate since 2020 and has supporting increased EU electric vehicle infrastructure, BMW appears to have consistently opposed policies to phase out ICE vehicles in the EU and UK, including opposing a zero-emissions 2035 EU CO2 standard for cars and vans.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: BMW appears to support the goals of the Paris Agreement in its 2020 Annual Report and an in August 2021 joint statement on the Biden Administration’s climate plan for cars and trucks. Similarly, in a March 2021 Op-Ed, BMW CEO, Oliver Zipse, appeared to support net-zero or climate neutrality targets, but without specifying the need for near term action to achieve these goals. BMW also appears to support government regulation to respond to climate change, stating in both its 2020 Annual Report and its 2019 Sustainable Value Report that it supports the development of harmonized national and international regulations to fight climate change.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In March 2022, BMW's CEO, Oliver Zipse, publicly urged policymakers to delay setting the EU's zero-emission 2035 CO2 emissions target until "2040 at the earliest" and called for the decision on a zero-emissions CO2 target to be delayed until later in the 2020s according to a Politico report. Similarly, in May 2022, Politico Pro reported that BMW's CEO, Oliver Zipse, had sent a letter to French President Macron, urging them to delay introducing a zero-emissions CO2 target for vehicles from 2035 to 2040 and calling for the final decision to be delayed until 2028. BMW’s CEO, Oliver Zipse, in July 2021 opposed higher EU CO2 targets for light-duty vehicles in an ACEA press release response to the EU’s Fit for 55 package, including a zero-emission 2035 target, stating that “without significantly increased efforts by all stakeholders the proposed target is simply not viable”. This positioning is aligned with multiple Op-eds written by BMW CEO, Oliver Zipse, in February and March 2021, in which he conditions support for higher CO2 targets in the EU on higher EV charging infrastructure targets.

In a November 2021 EU consultation response on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), BMW appeared to support the policy with major exceptions, including that existing carbon leakage protection measures were continued under the EU ETS until 2035.

In an August 2021 joint statement on the Biden Administration’s Steps to Strengthen American Leadership on Clean Cars and Trucks, BMW advocated for federal US GHG emissions standards for vehicles, and appeared to support California's GHG emissions standards in its 2020 Annual Report.

Positioning on Energy Transition: BMW appears to oppose policies to phase out ICE vehicles and promote technology neutrality for transport over electrification, while supporting policies to promote electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. In a June 2021 press release from ACEA, BMW’s CEO, Oliver Zipse, asserted that “Europe should not be driven by a culture of bans and restrictions”, appearing to oppose an EU ICE phase-out, instead supporting a “technology-neutral” approach. Moreover, in February 2022, in a speech in the German parliament, BMW CEO, Oliver Zipse, directly advocated to policymakers to oppose policies to phase out ICE vehicles in both Europe and Germany. Moreover, in a March 2022 Politico report, BMW's CEO publicly stated opposition to phasing out ICE vehicles in the EU by 2035, urging the EU to delay the date until "2040 at the earliest". In May 2022, Politico reported that BMW's CEO, Oliver Zipse, had sent a letter to French President Macron, advocating for the EU phase out of ICE-powered cars and vans to be delayed from 2035 to 2040.

A July 2020 UK consultation response from BMW also strongly opposed a 2040 or sooner UK phase-out date for ICE vehicles. Moreover, Zipse appeared to oppose a 2035 ban on gasoline and diesel vehicles in Bavaria, according to a June 2021 Autohaus media article. According to a November 2021 CNN media report, BMW did not sign a global pledge made at COP26 to phase out ICE-powered vehicles in leading markets by 2035 and globally by 2040, due to "considerable uncertainty" about how a complete global shift to zero-emission vehicles would be supported. A November 2021 Dezeen article reported that BMW’s head of sustainability strategy, Thomas Becker, blamed the lack of "framework conditions" in less developed parts of the world for its reluctance to replace fossil-fuel cars with electric vehicles, while BMW CEO, Oliver Zipse was critical of the zero-emissions pledge in a November 2021 Handlesblatt interview, arguing that "we believe this is harmful to the climate".

According to its 2020 Annual report, the company supports regulatory measures such as the expansion of both charging infrastructure and financial incentives for EVs. Additionally, in a February 2021 response to a German federal consultation on fast-charging infrastructure, BMW called for an additional 1,000 fast charging points in Germany by 2030, urging a law to be passed as quickly as possible. While BMW CEO, Oliver Zipse, has expressed support for more ambitious EU EV infrastructure targets in a March 2021 Op-ed, a July 2021 ACEA press release and in a December 2021 ACEA press release, his views on the energy transition seem to be somewhat mixed. For example, Zipse has advocated for hybrids, hydrogen-powered vehicles and e-fuels over the full-scale electrification of transportation, according to a June 2021 Auto Zeitung media report. Also, reacting to Germany’s low emission vehicle package in November 2020, the BMW CEO warned that a lack of infrastructure would make the target “a very big challenge”.

Industry Association Governance: BMW discloses some of its relationships with trade associations that may be influencing climate change policy, but has not explained the position of said trade associations nor how they are trying to influence those positions. BMW first published an audit of its industry associations and their positions in May 2022. BMW CEO, Oliver Zipse, is currently President of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), which has mixed to negative engagement with EU climate regulations for road transport. BMW retains board positions on the German Automotive Association (VDA) and the European Roundtable of Industrialists. and retains memberships of a number of groups known to be oppositional to climate regulation, including the US-based Alliance for Automotive Innovation, EU-focused Business Europe and the German-based Federation of German Industries (BDI).

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Strength of Relationship
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68%
 
68%
 
51%
 
51%
 
62%
 
62%
 
41%
 
41%
 
46%
 
46%
 
42%
 
42%
 
55%
 
55%
 
29%
 
29%
 
72%
 
72%
 
68%
 
68%
 
49%
 
49%
 
54%
 
54%
 
37%
 
37%

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.