Business Roundtable

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Washington DC, United States
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Climate Lobbying Overview: Business Roundtable appears to be engaging on climate policy with increasingly positive positions. While the group engaged with mostly negative positions from 2014-2017, it appears not to have taken an active stance on most climate legislation and regulation from 2018-2021. Its communications are largely limited to top-line positions on climate change.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Business Roundtable’s 2020 climate position statement (“Addressing Climate Change: Principles and Policies”) calls for global emissions reductions in line with IPCC recommendations and makes the case for carbon pricing as a pillar of its preferred approach. However, Business Roundtable qualifies its support for government policy with the need to maintain national competitiveness, and asserts that market-based action is "more often than not" preferable to regulation of emissions reductions. In January 2021, Business Roundtable issued a statement strongly supporting the Biden administration’s decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement. It did not appear to take a stance on the new US NDC of 50% emissions reductions by 2030 (based on 2005 levels) announced in April 2021. In September 2021, during negotiations over the Build Back Better Act, the Business Roundtable published an article supporting US climate policy in general but strongly opposing the reconciliation bill as a means of passing climate policy in the US. It has strongly pushed back on the revenue provisions likely needed to pay for the climate provisions in the bill, as reported by Politico.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In its 2020 climate policy position paper, Business Roundtable states support for a price on carbon but does not endorse specific carbon tax or cap and trade legislation/regulation and cautions against administrative burdens and implementation costs. The report also favors policy to encourage and incentivize energy efficiency in buildings, equipment, appliances, transportation, manufacturing, and the electricity sector. While Business Roundtable demonstrated support for the wind production tax credit in 2017, it has shown little engagement with specific renewable energy policy in recent years. Previously, in 2017, Business Roundtable wrote a letter to the White House on the negative economic impacts of environmental legislation, opposing the overreach of the US EPA and demanding an overhaul of the Clean Power Plan.

Positioning on the Energy Transition: Business Roundtable's 2020 climate statement notes that the energy transition is “likely to take decades” and will require a “diverse spectrum of fuels and energy sources” to meet global energy demand, a position that appears misaligned with IPCC recommendations to phase out unabated fossil fuels. And in 2015-17, Business Roundtable explicitly supported the Keystone XL pipeline and advocated for policy changes that would enable the expansion of oil and gas infrastructure. Speaking on behalf of the organization, President Joshua Bolten voiced opposition to the US Green New Deal in September 2020. The group has not commented on President Biden’s recent orders to transition the energy mix.