We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The European Round Table for Industry (ERT) active and mixed engagement on climate policy in Europe. Its positions on top-line climate ambition and some specific policy areas such as energy efficiency and carbon taxation appear to have become increasingly positive since 2019, but it retains more negative positions on the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and fossil gas.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The European Round Table for Industry (ERT) seems to take broadly supportive positions in its top-line messaging on climate policy. In December 2021, ERT stated support for the European Green Deal and climate neutrality in the EU by 2050 in a position paper. However, in a June 2021 statement on the Fit for 55 package, ERT appeared to qualify its broad support for climate change regulations with statements that imply a tension between climate policy and economic competitiveness, stating “European industry can only transform if it is competitive.” A December 2020 position paper supported the goals of the UN Paris Agreement and the association advocated for international co-operation to deliver Article 6 of the Paris Agreement in a trade policy expert paper in November 2020.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: ERT seems to take mixed positions in its engagement with key climate change regulations in the EU. In a May 2022 statement on EU energy policy, ERT stated support for the EU's 2030 target of 55% GHG emissions reductions. In a December 2022 statement, ERT stated support for the introduction of the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle in the Energy Efficiency Directive and advocated for measures to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy. The association also stated support for the EU’s ReFuelEU Aviation policy to increase uptake of sustainable aviation fuels in a December 2021 position paper.
Parallel to these increasingly positive positions, ERT appeared to question the Phase IV revision of the EU ETS in 2021, describing the frequent adjustments relating to increased climate ambition as “an obstacle for industry investment decisions” despite recognizing the need for increased ambition from ETS sectors. In a May 2022 statement, the association advocated for the EU to "review" the ETS proposal due to "the carbon leakage threat for European producers". In an ‘Industrial Competitiveness Alert’ in October 2022, ERT appeared not to support a reduced number of free emissions allowances under the EU ETS, advocating for indirect CO2 cost compensation. In the same document, the association supported the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism “for certain sectors”, however described the EU Commission proposal to phase-out free emissions allowances as “very problematic” and advocated for continued existing carbon leakage protection for certain sectors.
Positioning on Energy Transition: Evidence suggests that the European Round Table for Industry (ERT) supports the energy transition, however it has also advocated for an increase in EU fossil gas production since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. In a May 2022 statement in relation to the EU's RePowerEU proposal to reduce reliance on Russian fossil fuels, ERT advocated for the EU to reduce its demand for fossil gas, broadly supporting the EU Gas and Hydrogen Decarbonization Package. However, in the same statement the association also argued that the EU should "activate all options to produce gas". In an October 2022 position paper, ERT suggested that hydrogen production based on fossil fuels was desirable without setting clear conditions for carbon capture and storage. In a December 2022 position paper the association advocated for hydrogen definitions to be aligned with ‘Fit for 55’.