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Düsseldorf, Germany
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Uniper appears actively engaged on European climate policy. While the company has strongly supported the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, it has opposed other policies including carbon taxes and mandates to phase out coal power. The company also advocates strongly in favor of a long-term role for fossil gas in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Uniper appears supportive of climate action in its top-line messaging. In 2019, Uniper clearly acknowledged the contribution of carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels to climate change. In its 2019 Annual Report, released in May 2020, Uniper also supported the European Green Deal’s ambition to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. In 2021, the company appeared to state support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Although Uniper has not explicitly stated support for climate-related regulation in its corporate reporting, the company signed a joint letter to the leading EU institutions in October 2020 calling for “ambitious and pragmatic” policy tools to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Uniper appears actively engaged on market-based climate regulation, supporting EU and UK emissions trading schemes while strongly opposing the introduction of a carbon tax.

Uniper has consistently supported the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) as “the most cost-effective mechanism” to meet Europe’s emission reduction targets in 2017-21, and advocated the transposition of Phase IV into UK law in response to a Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consultation on carbon pricing in July 2019. In the company’s 2021 consultation response on the EU ETS, Uniper stated support for reforms, including support to increase the linear reduction factor, one-off rebasing of the emission cap, and an expansion to the maritime sector. However, Uniper advocated for new ETS systems for the transport and buildings sectors, and a continuation of the market stability reserve at the current rate. In November 2020, Uniper signed a joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging the UK Government to implement a UK emissions trading system.

In 2017-2020, Uniper has opposed the implementation of a carbon tax in the UK. In response to a BEIS consultation in July 2019, the company advocated a phase out of the UK Carbon Price Support (CPS) tax in favor of an emissions trading scheme. The CPS was introduced by the UK Government to supplement the EU ETS by setting a minimum carbon price for power generators referred to as the Carbon Price Floor. The company supported the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism in a 2021 consultation response, but advocated for the gradual phase out of existing carbon leakage protection for exposed sectors under the EU ETS over an unspecified period of time. In May 2019, Uniper also reportedly opposed a carbon price floor in Germany, according to a ICIS article.

Uniper appears to have broadly positive, albeit limited, engagement with other forms of climate legislation. In response to a UK consultation in May 2020, the company appeared to support the UK’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism, advocating for the inclusion of offshore wind extension projects within the scheme. In a 2021 consultation response, Uniper appeared to support higher ambition in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, but advocated for other low-carbon energy sources to be included in the scope of the policy. The company also appeared to support increasing the EU’s 2030 GHG emission reduction target from 40% to at least 50%. In a submission to the European Commission in January 2021, Uniper supported the EU’s legal framework to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Uniper’s positive top-line positioning on the energy mix appears to be misaligned from its engagement with policy mandating the phase-out of carbon-intensive energy sources such as coal. In 2019-21, Uniper has expressed top-line support for an “orderly and responsible” transition away from coal in its corporate reporting. In May 2019, however, the company stated that a transition away from coal should only take place if the EU is unable to meet its climate targets via carbon pricing, emphasizing the potential risk to energy security. Uniper has reportedly opposed coal phase-out plans in Germany in 2019 and the Netherlands in 2021, with Euractiv reporting the company confirming its intention to seek legal action in the latter case. Sky News have reported in September 2021 that legal action is ongoing. Uniper stated in its 2020 CDP response that it opposed the 2030 coal phaseout in the Netherlands unless the company receives financial compensation.

In 2019-21, Uniper has consistently supported the long-term role of fossil gas in the energy mix. In its 2019 Annual Report, the company supported gas as “the ideal fuel to support the energy transition” on the basis that it has the lowest emissions of any fossil fuel. In 2020, Uniper also supported the development of new gas infrastructure such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which will lock in fossil gas. Uniper signed a joint letter to the leading EU institutions in October 2020 lobbying for the inclusion of fossil gas as an enabling or transitional activity under the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy.

Uniper has actively supported the increased role of hydrogen in the energy mix, including renewable (“green”) hydrogen and hydrogen production via fossil fuels (“blue” or “turquoise”). In response to a UK consultation in May 2020, the company lobbied in favor of incentives for green hydrogen production and battery storage under the UK Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism. In its 2019 Sustainability Report, Uniper appeared to support a ‘technology-neutral’ regulatory environment in Europe to develop both green and blue hydrogen to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors such as chemicals and transport. In feedback to the EU Hydrogen Strategy in June 2020, Uniper also advocated for policymakers to support green, blue and ‘turquoise’ hydrogen production “on a level playing field”. This technology-neutral approach represents a less ambitious approach than the original mandate of the EU initiative, which aimed to support the deployment of green hydrogen production as a priority.

Industry Association Governance: Uniper has disclosed its membership to some industry associations on its corporate website. However, this disclosure provides limited information on these memberships and excludes key associations listed in its 2020 CDP response such as the Federation of German Industries (BDI), International Emissions Trading Association and Eurogas which have mixed engagement on climate change policy. Uniper has not disclosed a review of its industry association alignment on climate change.

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.