RWE

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
57%
Organisation Score
61%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
Essen, Germany
Brands and Associated Companies:
RWE Innogy, RWE power
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: RWE appears to have mixed engagement on climate policy, although the company has taken a more progressive position on climate policy since 2020. RWE has stated support for some ambitious policy action at EU level, including measures to increase the ambition of key policies, but continues to support a sustained role for fossil fuels in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: RWE appears supportive of climate policy in its top-line communications. In its 2021 Sustainability Report, published in March 2022, the company stated support for the UN Paris Agreement. RWE also advocated in support for the EU’s 2050 carbon neutrality target in its 2021 CDP disclosure. However, RWE’s position on the need for climate change regulation appears to be mixed. The company signed a joint letter in 2021 to express support for the implementation of a regulatory framework for renewable energy and for global carbon pricing mechanisms. However, in a 2021 interview with CNBC, CEO Markus Krebber appeared to suggest concerns regarding the loss of competitiveness in Germany from a climate policy framework, while also stressing preference for a market-based mechanism approach.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: RWE appears to have mixed positions on market-based climate regulations. In its 2021 Sustainability Report, published in March 2022, the company stated support for reforms to the EU ETS, including bringing forward the target trajectory for emissions reductions to 2030. The news outlet Smart Energy reported that the company supported EU ETS reforms in September 2021, to extend the scheme to the road transport and buildings sectors, but called for the inclusion of carbon reduction technologies. RWE appears to be unsupportive of the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, with CEO Markus Krebber highlighting concerns relating to the impacts on industrial competitiveness on social media in July 2021.

The company stated support for the UK government’s 2035 78% GHG emission reduction target on social media in 2021. It also supported increasing the ambition of the EU’s 2030 GHG emission target, and Effort Sharing Regulation in February and March 2021 consultation responses. RWE has also supported the increase in ambition for the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) in its 2021 Sustainability Report, published March 2022. However, in a December 2021 joint letter to EU policymakers, RWE did not appear to support the additionality principle in the RED Delegated Act, instead advocating for greater flexibility in the short-term on phasing in requirements for renewable energy capacity.

In the US, RWE subsidiary, RWE Renewables Americas signed a July 2022 joint letter to President Biden and the Congressional leadership advocating for the passing of a climate package through budget reconciliation, that included clean energy provisions. The subsidiary also signed a January 2022 joint letter advocating to Congressional leaders to support clean energy tax credits in the Build Back Better Act.

Positioning on Energy Transition: RWE appears to have taken a more positive position on the energy transition since 2020, while continuing to take legal action against a coal-phase out in the Netherlands. In July 2020, former CEO Rolf Schmitz called for the German Coal Phase-out Act to be ratified quickly to provide legal certainty and handle job losses. Despite RWE’s top-line communications appearing to become more supportive of the energy transition, in February 2021, RWE filed a lawsuit to seek compensation through the Energy Charter Treaty for the Dutch Government's plans to phase-out coal by 2030, and Sky News reported in September 2021 that legal action is ongoing. In June 2021, the Telegraph reported that RWE had advocated for compensation for the phase out of coal, and reiterated its intention to seek compensation in August 2022 in the Financial Times.

However, in February 2022, Bloomberg reported that RWE appeared to support the German coalition government’s coal exit plan. In a November 2021 press release, RWE appeared to support the 2030 coal phase out date in Germany, but stated support for new fossil gas capacity until phase out in 2045 on the basis of energy security. CEO Markus Krebber also supported new liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure to diversify the German energy mix in a March 2022 social media post. However, the company appeared to support a significant acceleration in renewable energy capacity in the EU, as part of a CEO joint letter sent to European policymakers in 2021.

Industry Association Governance: RWE has disclosed its industry association memberships and has published a review of the company’s alignment with their positions on climate change. However, this review did not disclose any details on the climate positions and influencing activities of its industry associations, nor did it disclose a framework for addressing potential cases of misalignment. The company found no cases of misalignment with its industry associations, which appears to overlook the negative lobbying activities of several industry associations including the Federation of German Industries (BDI), BusinessEurope and Euracoal.

A detailed assessment of the company's industry association review can be found on our CA100+ platform here.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
42%
 
42%
 
66%
 
66%
 
66%
 
66%
 
59%
 
59%
 
75%
 
75%
 
46%
 
46%
 
49%
 
49%
 
85%
 
85%
 
44%
 
44%
 
55%
 
55%
 
85%
 
85%
 
87%
 
87%

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.