Eskom Holdings Soc Limited

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Sunninghill, South Africa
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Climate Lobbying Overview: Eskom Holdings (Eskom) has communicated broadly positive positions on climate policy, but has also remained supportive of the continued role of coal and fossil gas in the energy mix. In 2021-2022, however, Eskom appears to have shifted this position, becoming more supportive of a transition from coal to renewable energy in South Africa's energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Eskom appears to have broadly positive top-line messaging on climate change, however its transparent engagement in 2022 has been limited. In a September 2021 tweet, the company acknowledged the need to take immediate action to reduce global emissions in line with the IPCC. In its 2021 Integrated Report, published in September 2021, Eskom also supported emissions reductions in line with net-zero by 2050, and the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. Eskom’s Chairman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, stated in the company’s 2021 Integrated Report that “South Africa is a proud signatory to the Paris Agreement”, and that Eskom fully supports the country’s commitments.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Eskom appears to have some mixed engagement with climate-related regulations. In a September 2022 submissions to a public hearing on the South African Climate Change Bill, Eskom stated that penalties for entities that do not comply with carbon budgets will lead to inappropriate criminal sanctions, and suggested that this is replaced with a carbon tax on entities that exceed their budgets. This would weaken the consequence for emitters that exceed their carbon budget under the Bill. In contrast, in a May 2022 ESI Africa report CEO Andre de Rutyer appeared to support bid window six of South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), stating that procuring more renewable energy will remove pressure from Eskom's coal fleet. In its 2021 CDP response, Eskom also supported renewable energy legislation, stating support for clean energy generation. In the same CDP response, the company appeared to support mandatory carbon reporting standards and emissions trading.

The company stated in its 2021 CDP response that it supported carbon tax with minor exceptions. Eskom also supported the introduction of a carbon tax in South Africa in its 2019 integrated report. Nevertheless, in 2019 Reuters reported that the postponement of the tax’s introduction was due to Eskom’s concerns surrounding prices and profitability.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Eskom appears to have a mixed position on the energy transition. In a June 2022 fin24 article, Eskom CEO Andre de Rutyer appeared to support the role of fossil gas in the South African energy mix, without placing conditions on the deployment of carbon capture and storage. In an October 2022 Engineering News article, De Rutyer also supported a transition to renewables, but stated that the transition is not a binary debate from coal to renewables, and that coal continues to play a role in the South African energy mix.

However, Eskom’s positioning on coal has improved overall since South Africa’s November 2021 announcement at COP26 that it had agreed a £6.2 billion deal to end its reliance on coal. On Eskom’s corporate website, accessed in August 2022, the company supported a “shut down of coal plants”. Support for this was reiterated by CEO Andre De Ruyter in an Engineering News article in October 2021, who stated that the shutting down of coal-fired power plants is projected to be equivalent to “22 GW by 2035, or roughly half of the total installed capacity that Eskom currently has”. Further, the company appears to have reservations about the capacity of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in South Africa’s energy transition. In its 2021 Integrated Report, Eskom stated that CCS technology is not commercially viable for large coal-fire power stations, and that reducing emissions is therefore projected to come from the ‘de-loading and closure of existing coal-fired power stations’. Additionally, in a July 2022 ESI Africa article, Eskom supported South Africa’s ‘energy action plan’ and its provisions for the energy system which includes lifting the 100MW cap on self-embedded generation, allowing for more private-sector procurement of renewable energy.

Industry Association Governance: In its 2019 Integrated report, Eskom publicly disclosed a list of some of its industry association memberships. However, it does not comment on their climate-related lobbying activities, nor has it published a full audit disclosure of its links to trade associations. The company did not publicly disclose any industry association memberships in either its 2021 or 2020 integrated report. The company also did not disclose its industry associations in its 2021 CDP response.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q4 2022.

Additional Note: Eskom is a listed company with more than 50% of its shares owned by the government of South Africa. State-owned enterprises likely retain channels of direct and private engagement with government officials that InfluenceMap is unable to assess, and therefore are not represented in Eskom's engagement intensity metric.

Strength of Relationship

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.