Mercedes-Benz Group

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
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On 1st February 2022, Daimler rebranded itself as Mercedes-Benz AG. To reflect this development, InfluenceMap’s scoring has combined data analyzed for Daimler prior to this date with data analyzed for Mercedes-Benz after 1st February 2022.

Climate Lobbying Overview: Mercedes-Benz AG has actively engaged with climate legislation in Europe and the United States in 2020-22 with mixed positioning. The company appears to show mixed to negative engagement on key climate policies for road transport, such as CO2 standards, while advocating for measures to support EV infrastructure expansion. Mercedes-Benz AG holds memberships to several highly regressive industry associations in Germany, the EU and US.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Mercedes-Benz appears to support the Paris Agreement, stating support in its 'Climate Policy' report and in a letter signed by Mercedes-Benz Chair, both from March 2022. While Mercedes-Benz indicated broad support for government regulation in its March 2022 'Climate Policy' report, it appeared to favor market-based solutions, stating that emissions trading schemes "should be the future leading regulatory instrument for the decarbonisation of transport". Daimler previously appeared supportive of efforts to limit emissions in line with targets set out by the IPCC, signalling support for limiting global average temperature rise to 2°C, or ideally 1.5°C, and emphasizing the need to accelerate decarbonization on its corporate website in July 2020. Additionally, Daimler appeared to support the US re-joining the Paris Agreement in a February 2021 Tweet. As Daimler, the company also suggested it supports carbon pricing in its 2020 Sustainability Report, however it is unclear whether it supports the ambitious regulatory action. Daimler also appeared supportive of the EU Green Deal, signalling its commitment to the goals in a February 2021 tweet.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Mercedes-Benz AG appears to have mixed to negative engagement on GHG emission standards for road transport. A July 2021 Daimler press response to the EU Fit for 55 package, which includes a 2035 zero-emissions target for light-duty vehicles, took an unclear position on the policy, with the company’s development chief stating that the higher 2030 and zero-emissions 2035 CO2 targets are "very, very ambitious". Daimler's 2021 CDP response also discloses that regarding EU CO2 standards "any tightening of current CO2 targets should be accompanied by ambitious binding targets for infrastructure (charging and H2) on EU member states level", suggesting that the company has conditioned its support for higher CO2 targets on accompanying higher binding targets for charging and refuelling infrastructure. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz March 2022 'Climate Policy' report does not appear to state a clear position on the stringency of GHG emissions standards it supports, including for EU CO2 standards. However, in June 2022, Mercedes-Benz Group appeared to welcome the EU's proposed zero-emissions 2035 CO2 target in a media statement reported by Automotive News. The company previously indicated it would not argue for EU CO2 targets for light-duty vehicles to be delayed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

In the US, Mercedes-Benz AG has opposed more ambitious GHG emissions standards for light-duty vehicles. In a September 2021 Mercedes-Benz consultation response to US GHG emissions standards for vehicles, Daimler appeared to not support higher GHG emissions stringency options, supporting only a mid-range option that included numerous flexibilities that would potentially weaken the stringency of the proposal. In its 2021 CDP Climate Change Information Request, the company stated support for one national program on road transport GHG reduction, indicating opposition to California’s ability set its own emissions standards. In its 2020 CDP response, Daimler also indicated that it has pushed for an agreement between California and Federal Regulators on one national program, implying a reduction in stringency for California's CAFE regulations.

Mercedes-Benz' March 2022 'Climate Policy' report states general support for a carbon tax and appears to support an EU ETS with a carbon price "high enough to create steering effects" for low-carbon investments, although evidence suggests it appears to support the EU ETS at the expense of other climate legislation by advocating emissions trading schemes "should be the future leading regulatory instrument for the decarbonisation of transport". Mercedes Benz AG CEO, Ola Källenius, has repeatedly shown support for a carbon tax, advocating for its implementation in a July 2021 Salzburger Nachrichten media report, and stating in a January 2020 interview that a “tradable” tax that is “universal across industries would be the most economically and resource-efficient way of solving problems of CO2”. In an April 2021 Independent media report, Daimler further called on European policymakers to boost incentives for climate-neutral technologies, including taxing carbon and emissions trading.

Mercedes-Benz also appears to support an expansion of renewable energy in the energy mix, supporting "ambitious target settings" for the EU's renewable energy directive in its 2022 'Climate Policy' report. Previously, Daimler supported a massive acceleration of capacity build-up of renewable energy in Europe in a Joint CEO letter to the EU Commission in July 2021. A July 2021 Daimler tweet further seemed to support a 55% 2030 EU GHG emissions target.

Positioning on Energy Transition: According to its 2022 'Climate Policy' report, Mercedes-Benz supports both the "full electrification" of vehicles and the use of plug-in hybrids and combustion vehicles as "bridging technology". In November 2020, Daimler welcomed the launch of Germany’s policy package to shift to low emissions vehicles, with Daimler CEO, Ola Källenius, describing the package as "exactly right". In November 2021, Mercedes-Benz signed a global pledge made at COP26 supporting a global phase out of ICE-powered vehicles in leading markets by 2035 and globally by 2040. However, Daimler's CEO further appeared unsupportive of policies to ban ICE vehicles in an interview regarding supporting such a pledge in November 2021.

Mercedes Benz AG also appears to support electric vehicle charging infrastructure policies. In a July 2021 Salzburger Nachrichten media report, Daimler CEO, Ola Källenius, expressed support for the expansion of EV charging infrastructure in the EU and member states. Daimler also advocated for more comprehensive charging infrastructure in a July 2021 media statement.

Industry Association Governance: Mercedes-Benz has not disclosed its membership to industry associations on its corporate website, neither has it published a review of its alignment with its industry associations. Mercedes Benz’s CEO, Ola Källenius, is on the board of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and is the Vice-President of the German Automotive Association (VDA). The company is a member of a number of groups which have maintained regressive policies on climate policy including the US-based Alliance for Automotive Innovation and [124 National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and German-based Federation of German Industries (BDI).

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.