Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
All Sectors
London, United Kingdom

Climate Lobbying Overview: The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has become increasingly positive in its positioning on climate policy, and is highly engaged on the issue. CBI’s top-line promotion of climate action is mostly in line with its lobbying of specific climate regulations, and is a particularly strong advocate for energy efficiency measures, although the organization has continued to take cautious positions on carbon taxes.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: CBI appears to be highly supportive of top-line climate ambition in its public messaging. In a December 2021 press release, CBI supported delivery of the UK’s Net Zero Strategy. The association has since continued strong support for the UK to become a leader in net zero delivery, criticizing a lack of clear direction from UK government on climate change in a March 2022 press release and advocating for the development of “strategies and incentives”. CBI appears to strongly support increasing global ambition on climate, supporting progress made at COP26 in a November 2021 statement from the Director-General Tony Danker but suggesting that more must be done to strengthen Nationally Determined Contributions and reduce coal use.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: CBI appears to support increasing GHG emissions reduction targets, welcoming the UK's new 9th carbon budget target of 78% emissions reduction by 2035 in a June 2021 policy paper. CBI appears to support most specific climate policies, and is a particularly strong advocate for increased ambition on energy efficiency, advocating for an "ambitious programme for residential and business energy efficiency" in a January 2022 letter to the UK Chancellor. The association reiterated its call for more ambitious energy efficiency policy in an April 2022 response to the UK Energy Security Strategy. In the same response, CBI advocated for stronger support for onshore wind, including planning reforms and faster project approvals.

CBI has communicated more cautious positions relating to carbon taxation and carbon border taxation. In a March 2021 report CBI supported the ‘polluter pays’ principle of carbon taxation but emphasized the potential negative impacts of “taxing ‘bad’ too much”. On carbon border taxation, a BusinessEurope statement declaration in November 2021 signed by the CBI supported a CBAM alongside carbon leakage protection measures in the EU ETS until the tool has proven its effectiveness for an unspecified period, a position which contradicts with the proposal of the EU Commission to phase-out carbon leakage protection. CBI is broadly supportive of emissions trading, and advocated in a March 2021 report for the UK to link its proposed Emissions Trading System to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). In a November 2021 report, the association advocated for the UK Government to “fill in the policy detail” on carbon pricing.

Positioning on energy mix: CBI has previously taken positions that appear unsupportive of an urgent transition towards a zero-emission economy, for example in 2018 the organization supported a role for fossil gas in the energy mix, as well as the expansion of Heathrow Airport. However, CBI’s 2021 Green Recovery Roadmap supported a raft of policies to decarbonize the economy, including support for a delivery plan for the phase out of internal combustion engines by 2030 and a ban on new fossil gas boilers by 2035. In a March 2021 UK Government consultation response, CBI also supported specific measures to increase renewable energy deployment in line with net zero. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the association has advocated for a range of measures to phase out GHG emission intensive technologies and infrastructure, supporting incentives for decarbonized heating, and supporting EV charging infrastructure, including in a March 2022 press release.

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