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 French Business Federation (Medef) is actively engaged on climate policy in France and at 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 states support for climate policy while stressing impacts on industry competitiveness in its top-line messaging, but has become more positive since 2015. In an October 2021 press release, the association supported reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 in France. In a January 2022 press release, the association supported the EU’s Fit for 55 package. However, Medef signed a joint statement with other EU national business federations in November 2022 qualifying support for climate regulations by stating that they should not affect national or regional competitiveness, and emphasizing the risk of deindustrialization. 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. In a June 2022 Communiqué from the B7 group, Medef called for G7 countries to implement their UNFCCC Nationally Determined Contributions.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Medef appears to not fully support EU and French climate regulations. In a June 2022 Communiqué from the B7 group, Medef broadly supported emissions trading and a global carbon price. However, 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. Despite this, in the same statement 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 Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux 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 feedback to the French government on the National Strategy for Energy and Climate, Medef appeared to support a carbon tax with several conditions, including predictability and consistency of levies, flexibility to include technological developments and to avoid impeding other incentivizing measures.
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. In feedback to the French government on the National Strategy for Energy and Climate, in February 2022, Medef stated that it does not support the end of sale of new thermal vehicles by 2040. Furthermore, in June 2022 feedback to EU policymakers, Medef opposed the inclusion of GHG emissions in the reform of the Industrial Emissions Directive.
Positioning on Energy Transition: Medef seems to take predominantly negative positions on the energy transition. In a June 2021 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 (CCS) or methane abatement measures. In December 2022, the news outlet Handelsblatt also reported that Medef supported policymakers developing a framework for the development of hydrogen infrastructure, yet advocated that standards for the production of green hydrogen should not be too high. Furthermore, in a December 2022 joint declaration the association stated that non-renewable low-carbon hydrogen should be included in European hydrogen policy and did not support limiting the market to renewable hydrogen. In feedback to the French government on the National Strategy for Energy and Climate in February 2022, Medef supported policies to aid the development of low-carbon technologies, advocating for a technology neutral approach, and emphasizing the need for economic growth and re-industrialization in France as an essential condition to decarbonization.