Nippon Steel Corporation

InfluenceMap Score
D-
Performance Band
34%
Organisation Score
51%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Metals & Mining
Head​quarters:
Tokyo, Japan
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Nippon Steel Corporation appears to be actively engaged on climate policy with broadly negative positions. The company has opposed carbon pricing including carbon taxes and emissions trading, and has supported a role for nuclear power and hydrogen with major exceptions. The company retains memberships to and executive positions in several key industry associations opposing climate policy.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Nippon Steel appears to have mixed top-line communications on climate policy. Nippon Steel President Eiji Hashimoto supported the Japanese government’s 2050 carbon neutrality target in Nippon Steel’s integrated report published in September 2022, however in January 2021, he was quoted by the news outlet Asahi Shimbun as saying that “there is no prospect” of realizing Japan’s 2050 goal, appearing to emphasize the need for research and development. Commenting on achieving 2050 carbon neutrality, Hashimoto emphasized concern over “greenflation,” referring to cost increases due to accelerated investment towards decarbonization and declining fossil fuel production, in a statement on the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) website in January 2022. In a Ministry of the Environment (MOE) hearing in January 2021, Nippon Steel called on the government to set the 2050 carbon neutrality target “as a basic principle rather than a legal objective,” citing concerns over “many uncertainties.” In its 2022 integrated report, Nippon Steel stated that it is making policy proposals based on the Paris Agreement, but did not specify a position in the UN Climate Treaty.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Between 2018-22, Nippon Steel has consistently lobbied against and expressed opposition to carbon pricing policies such as carbon taxes and emissions trading, and expressed negative positions on GHG emissions targets and the feed-in tariff (FIT). In February 2022, Nippon Steel President Hashimoto stated in a METI committee hearing that the “additional burden of carbon pricing,” such as carbon taxes, deprives resources for technological development and “does not meet the purpose of reducing CO2,” and also stated that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) has “not been effective” in reducing GHG emissions. In a MOE hearing in April 2021, Nippon Steel accepted Japan’s 2030 GHG emissions reduction target as the government’s attempt to lead global efforts toward decarbonization, while stressing the need for further studies to determine how it can be achieved. In May 2021 however, the news outlet Nikkei reported that Hashimoto questioned the suitability of a uniform 46% target for all sectors, suggesting that it would be “irresponsible” to adopt it in his company. In a message on the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) website in January 2022, Hashimoto requested a “drastic review of the electricity rate system,” citing concerns over increased electricity prices due to the FIT under the 6th Basic Energy Plan.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Nippon Steel has repeatedly taken a negative position on the energy transition, supporting a role for nuclear power alongside fossil fuels. In the METI Basic Policy Subcommittee in April 2021, Nippon Steel President Hashimoto stated that “S + 3E (Safety, Energy Security, Economic Efficiency, and Environment) is an absolute requirement,” in addition to supporting the maximized use of nuclear energy due to “many geographical restrictions on the introduction of renewable energy” in Japan. In the same committee in March 2021, Hashimoto added that alongside nuclear power, “the use of certain fossil fuel energy is also essential.” The vice president of Nippon Steel expressed the need for a “national strategy” to make nuclear and renewable energy affordable in an interview with Reuters in March 2021. However, Hashimoto was quoted by Nikkei in May 2021 as saying that with rising electricity costs due to increased renewable energy, “there is only nuclear power,” and in a METI hearing in June 2021, he emphasized the need for a “realistic” energy mix for 2030, highlighting concerns over the costs of solar power. In a METI hearing in April 2021, Hashimoto supported increased hydrogen and ammonia in power generation, without specifying a position on their decarbonization.

Nippon Steel advocates for hydrogen to reduce emissions in the steel industry, although with strong emphasis on obstacles and some ambiguity around the need to decarbonize hydrogen production and the need for other policy solutions. On JISF’s website in January 2022, Hashimoto emphasized that “decarbonization in fields where there are no technical options, such as the steel industry, requires challenging the extremely high hurdles of technological development.” In a METI hearing in February 2022, Hashimoto requested a policy package to support the decarbonization of energy-intensive industries, including support for the R&D of hydrogen reduction and electric furnace steel production methods on the basis of a stable supply of “carbon-free electricity and hydrogen” and “CCUS for the remaining CO2,” reiterating similar requests made by Nippon Steel in a METI hearing in February 2021. In a METI hearing in September 2022, Nippon Steel emphasized the need for some continued use of coal in steel production alongside CCUS, and in a METI hearing in October 2022, it requested government support for both hydrogen co-firing and the exclusive use of hydrogen to decarbonize steel production.

Industry Association Governance: In its 2022 Sustainability Report, Nippon Steel disclosed some details on its positions and engagement on climate change legislation, but did not provide information on key positions such as carbon pricing and the general energy mix. It also disclosed some of its indirect engagement through JISF and the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), in which Nippon Steel President Hashimoto holds leadership positions, but it did not disclose its memberships in other industry associations including the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), and the Japan Coal Frontier Organization (JCOAL). JISF, Keidanren, and JCOAL have engaged negatively on climate policy.

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 Q3 2022.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
11NSNSNS1NS
01NS0-10NS
0NSNS-1NS-2NS
0NSNSNSNS1NS
0NA-2NANANANS
-1NSNS-1-2-2NS
-2NSNS-1NS-2NS
0NSNSNSNSNSNS
NSNSNS-1NS-1NS
0NSNS000NS
NSNSNS0NS-1NS
0NS-2NANANANS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNS
Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
49%
 
49%
 
44%
 
44%
 
36%
 
36%
 
61%
 
61%
 
62%
 
62%
 
26%
 
26%
 
49%
 
49%
 
70%
 
70%
 
40%
 
40%
 
54%
 
54%
 
44%
 
44%
 
69%
 
69%
 
50%
 
50%
 
60%
 
60%
 
57%
 
57%
 
50%
 
50%
 
54%
 
54%
 
52%
 
52%
 
48%
 
48%

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.