Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF)

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
All Sectors
Paris, France

Climate Lobbying Overview: The French Business Federation (Medef) is actively engaged with climate policy, both in France and at the EU level, with predominantly negative positions. Despite increased supportive communications on high-level issues such as the EU’s 2050 carbon neutrality goal and the need to transition the energy mix, the organization appears to remain largely opposed to an ambitious and stringent regulatory framework on climate change.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Medef seems to take mixed positions on climate policy in its top-line messaging, but has becomemore positive since 2015. In an October 2021 press release, the association supported reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 in France. However, in April 2020 in a letter to the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Medef advocated to delay the implementation of legislation which would support France’s 2050 net-zero goal, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. In a January 2022 press release, Medef supported the EU’s Fit for 55 package, and in November 2021, the Medef President Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux signed a declaration advocating for a “smart and stable” regulatory framework which supports industrial competitiveness. However, Medef signed a joint statement with other EU national business federations in November 2021, qualifying support for climate regulation by stating that they should not affect national or regional competitiveness, and highlighting the risk of carbon leakage. In an interview in April 2021, the President seemed to suggest that further increasing the ambition of European climate regulation was unnecessary, stressing the risks of unilateral action. The news outlet The New York Times reported that the association had weakened the proposals of France’s Citizens' Climate Convention for the French Climate Law in May 2021, and in December 2020 Le Figaro reported that the Deputy President of Medef seemed to suggest that it was undemocratic to create laws based on the Citizens’ Climate Convention’s opinions.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Medef appears to support EU and French climate regulations, albeit with major exceptions. In June 2021, in a joint statement with other EU national business federations, the association advocated for the continuation of a “sufficiently high” volume of free allocation of emissions allowances and indirect cost compensation in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), in order to protect international industrial competitiveness, a position which is misaligned with the EU Commission. However, it seemed to support the extension of the EU ETS to other sectors, and supported the mandatory use of revenues for climate action. Medef’s President has consistently stated support for a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in the EU on social media in 2020-22, without specifying a position on the removal of existing carbon leakage protection measures, such as free allowances, in the EU ETS. However, in a joint statement in November 2021, the association advocated for the continuation of free allowances alongside a CBAM with no phase out and supported the inclusion of export rebates, a position which is misaligned with the EU Commission.

In a February 2021 press release, Medef supported France’s Réglementation Environnementale 2020 (RE2020) to reduce the energy consumption of new buildings, but seemed to stress concerns regarding the negative impacts on some professions. Medef President wrote a letter to the French Minister of the Energy and Ecological Transition in April 2020, to request a moratorium on the implementation of energy and environmental legislation for six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the Programmation Pluriannuelle d’Energie, France’s flagship energy policy to achieve net-zero by 2050. This included energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Medef seems to take mixed positions on the energy transition. In a March 2020 comment on an EU consultation on the Revision of the Energy Taxation Directive0, the association opposed measures proposing to align energy taxation with the energy transition via increased taxation of fossil fuels. In a joint statement with other EU national business federations, Medef suggested that a long-term role for fossil gas in the energy mix is desirable without placing conditions on the deployment of carbon capture and storage or methane abatement measures, although it also supported the decarbonization of transportation. In May 2021, in a joint statement from the B7 Summit, Medef seemed to support a coal phase-out date of 2040 “where feasible”, and advocated for hydrogen production without placing conditions on the exclusion of fossil fuels to produce it. However, in a press release in October 2021, Medef supported the need to transition away from fossil fuels and develop renewable energies.

Details of Organization Score