InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Metals & Mining
Pohang, South Korea
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: POSCO appears to be actively engaging with climate regulation in South Korea with mixed positions. POSCO offers top-line support for South Korea’s 2050 net-zero target and the energy transition, but appears to take a more negative stance on specific policy areas including the Korean Emissions Trading System (K-ETS), the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (EU CBAM), and the role of fossil fuels in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: POSCO has stated its support for the Paris Agreement in its 2020 Climate Action Repor t, and acknowledged the role of the steel industry in delivering on the goals of the treaty. In a press release on its website published in September 2021, POSCO appeared to support emissions reductions in line with a 1.5℃ target as recommended by the IPCC. In December 2020, POSCO released a statement supporting the South Korean government’s revised 2050 net zero target and the Green New Deal. In POSCO Energy’s 2020 Corporate Citizenship Report, published in May 2021, the company stated broad support of the South Korean government’s carbon neutral policy’.

POSCO has taken mixed positions on the need for climate regulation. In its Climate Action Report 2020, POSCO appears to accept that government regulation in the form of ‘policy support’ will be needed for an effective shift to low-carbon steelmaking. However, in a press release from its corporate Newsroom in October 2021, POSCO appeared to qualify its support for government climate policy by suggesting that ‘the government should provide supporting plans rather than regulations’ in the low-carbon transition.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: POSCO’s detailed climate policy engagement appears to broadly negative and mostly focused on the Korea Emissions Trading Scheme (K-ETS) and carbon tax, including the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (EU CBAM). However, POSCO does not appear to disclose its position on, or engagement with, climate-related policy on its corporate website.

In its 2021 CDP Climate Change response, POSCO stated that it opposes the introduction of a carbon tax in South Korea, citing the double regulatory burden of a tax on carbon in addition to the emissions trading scheme. POSCO has also taken a negative stance on the introduction of the EU CBAM. In December 2021, POSCO Research Institute’s Chief Researcher did not support the EU CBAM at the South Korean National Assembly Steel Forum, stating doubts on the EU CBAM’s ‘effectiveness to solve climate problems and economic growth’.

Although POSCO states top-line support for the Korea Emissions Trading Scheme (K-ETS), it has advocated for a number of reforms that would weaken the overall ambition of the policy. In its 2021 CDP response, POSCO called for further free allocations and subsidies for its sector, citing the importance of recognizing ‘the vulnerability of the trade-exposed sector to international competition such as steel’. At the ‘Newsis Climate Change Forum’, POSCO Research Institute’s Managing Director did not support the introduction of product benchmarks to the K-ETS, citing lack of evidence on their effectiveness and concerns about competitiveness. In a press release in its Corporate Newsroom in April 2021, POSCO appeared to advocate for offsets to be included as emissions reductions in the K-ETS.

Positioning on Energy Transition: POSCO appears to take mixed positions on the energy transition, supporting increased green hydrogen production but also promoting the role of LNG in the energy mix. At an Environmental Policy Forum hosted by the Ministry of Environment in February 2021, POSCO directly advocated for government investment infrastructure to support a stable supply of green hydrogen and renewable energy.

However, POSCO’s stance on other aspects of the energy transition appears to be more negative. In POSCO Energy’s 2020 Corporate Citizenship Report, the company supported ‘continued growth of the LNG market’ on the basis that it is ‘eco-friendly’, without placing clear conditions on the deployment of CCS or methane abatement measures. In January 2022, POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo stated support for a long-term transition to renewable energy, but also appeared to support the expansion of LNG Exploration and production (E&P) and infrastructure without conditions around CCS or methane abatement.

Industry Association Governance: POSCO discloses a list of its memberships to industry associations in its 2020 Corporate Citizenship Report. However, this disclosure lacks detail on the groups’ climate policy positions and alignment with POSCO’s own positions. In its 2021 CDP response, POSCO disclosed membership to the Emissions Market Council only. POSCO failed to disclose its membership of several influential organizations globally, many of which have lobbied negatively on climate change. POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo is Chairman of the Korea Iron and Steel Association, which has engaged negatively on climate policy in Korea. In October 2021, Choi Jeong-woo was also appointed to the Executive Board of Directors at the World Steel Association. POSCO is also a member of the American Petroleum Institute which has highly negative lobbying on climate policy in the US. POSCO is a direct member of and sits on the ‘Net Zero Research Association’ committee of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which has actively opposed climate regulations and targets in South Korea.

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.