ConocoPhillips

InfluenceMap Score
D-
Performance Band
47%
Organisation Score
39%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Energy
Head​quarters:
Houston, United States
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: ConocoPhillips has improved its top-line communications on climate in recent years, however, the company has continued lobbying to promote the role of oil and gas in the energy mix. Furthermore, the company retains a network of high-level memberships to industry associations that actively oppose climate policy.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: ConocoPhilips’ messaging on the need for climate action ranges from mixed to negative positions. The company’s corporate website, accessed in December 2021, stated support for reducing GHG emissions to “safe levels”; however, it has not clarified what ConocoPhilips considers as "safe levels" and whether it is aligned with IPCC recommended timeframes for emissions reduction. In July 2021, the company’s corporate website supported the goal of limiting global temperature increase to below 2 degree Celsius. ConocoPhilips supports the goals of the Paris Agreement, as revealed in its 2020 Sustainability Report, published in July 2021.

ConocoPhilips does not appear to support the need for ambitious climate policies. In December 2021, the company’s corporate website stated the climate policy should utilize “market based mechanisms” and avoid “undue harm to the economy”. In the same month, the company supported carbon pricing at the expense of other forms of climate regulations. A similar position was reiterated in the company’s 2020 Sustainability Report, where the company supported market-based carbon pricing in order to remove other forms of policy.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: ConocoPhilips has limited transparency on its corporate website regarding its engagement with climate-related regulations, and where it has engaged this appears to be negative. On it’s corporate website, accessed in December 2021, ConocoPhillips’ stated the company supported a federal carbon tax but that this should replace “all environmental laws and regulations that are intended to reduce or control carbon and other GHG emissions.” In addition, ConocoPhillips’ support for carbon taxes comes with numerous caveats regarding the implementation of a carbon tax itself, including being implemented at the point of emissions rather than upstream on producers, and including multiple flexible compliance options such as offsets, flexible compliance frequency, or cash payments. It is also notable that in 2021, ConocoPhillips opposed the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, as disclosed in its 2021 CDP response.

ConocoPhilips does not appear to support ambitious methane regulations. In December 2021, on its corporate website, the company supported weaker federal methane regulations in the US that placed emphasis on voluntary efforts. The same position was adopted in the 2020 Sustainability Report, when the company proposed voluntary efforts over ambitious policy. In the company’s 2021 CDP Climate Change Response, ConocoPhillips disclosed support for methane regulations for oil and gas under the US Clean Air Act. ConocoPhillips presented to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in advance of the EPA’s proposed methane standards in October 2021. However, the presentation has restricted access, and it is therefore not possible to assess ConocoPhillips’ position on the EPA’s proposed methane regulations. Evidence from the corporate website in 2020 shows that ConocoPhillips opposed US Bureau of Land Management’s Venting and Flaring rule.

Positioning on Energy Transition: ConocoPhillips does not support the transition to a clean energy mix. In 2021, the company’s corporate website promoted fossil gas over renewable sources, claiming that the former was “cheaper and more reliable” than “intermittent” wind and solar electricity production.

Numerous sources of evidence analyzed by InfluenceMap shows that the company continues to advocate in favor of fossil fuels. A report by Inside Climate News in February 2022 revealed that the company lobbied the Bureau of Land Management in the US in favor of a new oil project. Further, the company’s 2021 CDP Climate Change Response disclosed that the company would oppose the EU Taxonomy for Sustainability if it excluded fossil gas. Further, in August 2020, Politico reported that ConocoPhillips lobbied the Bureau of Land Management in 2020 to remove the environmental impact criteria for the oil and gas developments in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In its 2020 Political Support Policies & Procedures statement, ConocoPhillips stated that it uses grassroots advocacy to supplement the company's lobbying efforts by “influencing officials to take favorable action” on legislation or regulation relevant to the company. ConocoPhillips has an advocacy website called 'Power in Cooperation' through which it promotes fracking, additional investment into oil and gas infrastructure, and the increased use of gas while stating that it is “good for the environment”. The 'Power in Cooperation' website also encouraged users to vote in the 2020 US Presidential Election, stating that “energy advocacy” is powered by people and communities. The company claimed on its website in 2020 that the lobbying achieved through this website was “crucial” in the repeal of the crude exports ban.

Industry Association Governance: ConocoPhillips has disclosed a list of industry associations it holds memberships to on the corporate website. The company retains membership to several powerful industry associations that actively oppose climate regulation in the US. These include the American Petroleum Institute, Western States Petroleum Association, [123 US Chamber of Commerce, Natural Gas Supply Association, National Association of Manufacturers, International Oil & Gas Producers Association, and Business Roundtable. On its 2021 'Association Engagement' page, ConocoPhillips reviewed its memberships and stated that the company was "aligned" or "mostly aligned" on climate change positions with all these groups.

A detailed assessment of the company's industry association review can be found on our CA100+ platform here.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
28%
 
28%
 
29%
 
29%
 
39%
 
39%
 
36%
 
36%
 
45%
 
45%
 
29%
 
29%
 
24%
 
24%
 
52%
 
52%
 
34%
 
34%
 
47%
 
47%
 
42%
 
42%
 
31%
 
31%
 
56%
 
56%
 
57%
 
57%
 
58%
 
58%

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.