International Airlines Group (IAG)

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
United Kingdom
Brands and Associated Companies:
British Airways, Iberia, Vueling , Aer Lingus

Climate Lobbying Overview: International Airlines Group (IAG), whose subsidiaries include British Airways and Iberia, appears to have mixed to negative engagement with EU and UK climate policy. Despite stating support for a 1.5°C global warming target and net zero emissions by 2050, IAG seem to have lobbied against ambitious regional and national climate regulations on aviation, including the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the UK Air Passenger Duty.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: IAG appears to offer top-line support for GHG emissions reductions in 2020-22. Website communications from 2022 appear to state commitment to limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C and the UK’s 2050 carbon neutrality goal, while urging “governments to create policies and incentives that ensure that we all…achieve our climate goals”. Additionally, through their endorsement of two publications by the Clean Skies for Tomorrow (CST) Coalition, published in October 2020 and July 2021, IAG supported the goals of the Paris Agreement and the EU’s Green Deal. However, in a February 2022 position paper, IAG appears to leverage its support for the global CORSIA offsetting scheme for aviation to oppose more stringent regional and national climate-related regulations and emphasized carbon leakage and competitiveness concerns over Paris-aligned emissions reductions in the European Green Deal.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: IAG appear to be actively engaged with EU climate policy in 2020-22, with mixed to negative positioning. Regarding the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the company’s 2021 CDP response appeared unsupportive of the inclusion of international (EU/EEA to/from non-EU/EEA) flights, disclosing that IAG is “actively lobbying” that CORSIA should instead be applied. Furthermore, in a February 2022 position paper, IAG appeared opposed to the EU Commission strengthening CORSIA’s baseline, while advocating for the implementation of CORSIA on intra-European international flights and continued free emissions allowances allocated based on SAF usage or “equal to their CORSIA obligation”. A second February 2022 position paper echoed this position and stated a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) is “not necessary”. However, in a March 2022 response to a UK Parliamentary Committee, IAG appeared to support the EU ETS for intra-EU flights.

Regarding an EU sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) mandate, IAG appeared to oppose the inclusion of international (EU to/from non-EU) flights in the EU SAF mandate, while advocating for delayed e-fuel sub-mandates and a higher intra-EU SAF mandate target in a February 2022 position paper. Another February 2022 position paper echoed this position while advocating for a global SAF mandate. In a January 2022 email to an EU Commissioner, IAG further called for the EU SAF mandate to be reduced to “intra-EU scope”. However, a September 2021 response to a UK parliamentary committee also appeared supportive of a UK SAF mandate, urging the government to provide "a demand signal through a mandate, and in addition a price support mechanism". British Airways (an IAG subsidiary) CEO, Sean Doyle, also supported a UK SAF mandate, according to a March 2022 Biofuels International article. Furthermore, according to a June 2022 Skift report, IAG supported a more ambitious 6% SAF-blending target by 2030, as proposed by the EU Council.

Positioning on Energy Transition: In 2020-22, IAG appear to communicate general support for sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) while opposing numerous other specific measures to decarbonize aviation in the UK and EU. In a November 2021 newsletter, IAG CEO Luis Gallego stated support for policies incentivizing SAF. However, in response to a June 2021 public consultation, IAG appeared to support a reduced domestic Air Passenger Duty (APD) while opposing increased rates for long-haul flights and a frequent flyers levy. A September 2021 IAG response to a UK parliamentary committee further appeared opposed to the UK APD, alongside rejecting a frequent flyer levy and measures to ban short-haul flights. This position appears to be further argued in evidence submitted to a UK Parliamentary Committee by IAG in March 2022. A 2021 CDP response from IAG also states “IAG does not support the energy taxation directive”, suggesting opposition to an EU kerosene fuel tax.

Industry Association Governance: IAG publicly discloses a list of its industry association memberships, without disclosing their climate policy positions, the company’s role within each association or their engagement on climate regulations. IAG has not published a review of its alignment with its industry associations. IAG’s 2021 CDP response disclosed their membership to and alignment with five associations. IAG is a member of Airlines for Europe (A4E) and the CEO of IAG is currently on the Board of Governors for International Aviation Transport Association (IATA), both of which have actively lobbied against ambitious climate policy for aviation.

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.