Nippon Steel Corporation

InfluenceMap Score
D-
Performance Band
35%
Organisation Score
46%
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 market-based policy mechanisms including carbon taxes and emissions trading, and appears to support a sustained role for fossil fuel energy alongside nuclear and renewables. 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. A report published on the company’s website in June 2021 recognized that due to high emissions from steel, achieving carbon neutrality in the industry is “an unavoidable issue in order to achieve carbon neutrality in Japan.” In the Basic Policy Subcommittee of the METI Comprehensive Resources and Energy Study Group in November 2020, Nippon Steel President Eiji Hashimoto stated that he agreed with carbon neutrality by 2050 as the “direction and vision that Japan should take” and that it is “an extremely high goal that cannot be achieved with current technology alone, but we believe it is important to accelerate our response by showing an ambitious vision.” However, he was quoted by Asahi Shimbun in January 2021 as saying that “there is no prospect” of realizing Japan’s goal of zero GHG emissions by 2050. Nippon Steel appears to support business-led innovation over regulation to respond to climate change, stating support for such innovation “rather than political or economic methods” in the MoE Global Environment Subcommittee in August 2020. The company also appears to support deregulation and voluntary initiatives by industry, listing efforts to promote them in its 2021 Sustainability Report in March 2021. There is limited recent evidence of explicit support for the Paris Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Nippon Steel has actively lobbied against and expressed opposition to carbon pricing, carbon taxes, and emissions trading, and has also supported industry exemptions from the feed-in tariff for renewables. Asahi Shinbun reported in January 2021 that Nippon Steel President Hashimoto emphasized that “introducing carbon pricing first” before expanding R&D “will be going against the goal” of 2050 carbon neutrality. In February 2021, Nippon Steel stated in the METI Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Strategy Council that “carbon pricing would deprive businesses of resources for technological development and hinder innovation” and thus “be a measure that goes against the realization of zero-carbon steel.” The company’s “Carbon Neutral Vision 2050” (accessed March 2021) raises concerns about the regulation’s effects on innovation and international competitiveness, stating that due to high energy costs, “carbon pricing, such as carbon taxes and emissions trading systems, will become an additional burden.” This position appears to have continued over time, as the company made similar statements against carbon taxes and emissions trading in the MoE Global Environment Subcommittee in April 2018 and January 2021. In the METI Basic Policy Subcommittee in November 2020, Nippon Steel appeared to request exemptions from renewable energy levies for industries “exposed to international competition.” Nippon Steel stated on its website (accessed November 2020) that it has been “promoting international energy conservation and environmental cooperation between countries” in Asia, including through public-private partnership meetings, but it did not state a position on legislative energy efficiency legislation.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Nippon Steel often takes a negative position on the energy transition. On decarbonizing the energy mix, it actively advocates for a large, long-term role for nuclear power, with mixed support for renewables and fossil fuel energy. 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 December 2020, Hashimoto supported finding “an optimal solution” whereby renewable energy, nuclear power, and thermal power “mutually complement each other,” and similarly in March 2021, stated that “we should make maximum use of existing nuclear power that has been confirmed to be safe, and I believe that the use of certain fossil fuel energy is also essential.” He appeared to support the expansion of offshore wind power generation, including “a system to promote purely domestic offshore wind power” in the committee in November 2020.

Nippon Steel advocates for hydrogen to reduce emissions in the steel industry, though with strong emphasis on high technical and economic hurdles and sometimes with ambiguity around the need to decarbonize hydrogen production. On the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) 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 January 2021, a Nippon Steel executive was reported by Nikkei as saying that to realize the decarbonization of steel, “it is a prerequisite for the whole country to work on the development of hydrogen infrastructure." Nippon Steel’s 2021 Sustainability Report acknowledged that it was participating in “various hydrogen-related councils promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Energy Agency” as well as hydrogen-related industries. In the METI Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Strategy Council in February 2021, the company listed long-term R&D investment and the development of mass and cheap “social infrastructure such as stable supply of zero-emissions hydrogen and zero-emissions electricity” as necessary to support the “extremely high hurdles” of innovation required for hydrogen reduction ironmaking. In the METI Basic Policy Subcommittee in April 2021, Hashimoto requested that hydrogen and ammonia be used “in large quantities” in power generation, without specifying a position on their decarbonization.

Industry Association Governance: In its 2021 Sustainability Report, Nippon Steel disclosed that it participates in discussions on environmental and energy policies through the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) and the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), including “making various recommendations regarding Japan’s climate change measures and energy policies in accordance with the Paris Agreement,” but did not specify its specific policy positions.

On its corporate website, the company has disclosed its membership as a “core member” of JISF and stated that it “makes publicly known its views and opinions on diverse public policies concerning global climate change” through the federation. The Nippon Steel President Hashimoto is the chairman of JISF, which has highly strategic engagement against Paris-aligned climate policy in Japan, including opposition to carbon taxes, emissions trading, and the feed-in-tariff scheme.

President Hashimoto is also the vice chair of Keidanren, which has historically lobbied negatively on many strands of Japanese climate change regulation. In addition, Nippon Steel is a direct member of associations including the Japan Aluminum Association (JAA) and the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and holds prominent positions in the Central Japan Economic Federation (CJEF), Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), the Japan Coal Frontier Organization (JCOAL), and the World Steel Association (worldsteel). Nippon Steel has not published a full audit disclosure of its alignment with its industry associations, nor has it disclosed its membership in multiple associations.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
11NSNSNS1NS
11NS0-10NS
0NSNS-11-1NS
NSNSNSNSNS1NS
-1NA-2NANANANS
-1NSNS-2-2-2NS
-2NSNS-1NS-2NS
0NSNSNSNSNSNS
NSNSNS-1NS-1NS
0NSNS000NS
NSNSNS0NS-1NS
-1NS-2NANANANS
Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
47%
 
47%
 
34%
 
34%
 
37%
 
37%
 
47%
 
47%
 
63%
 
63%
 
62%
 
62%
 
26%
 
26%
 
47%
 
47%
 
62%
 
62%
 
45%
 
45%
 
48%
 
48%
 
34%
 
34%
 
45%
 
45%

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.