South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA)

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
South Africa

Climate Lobbying Overview: SAPIA has limited top-line messaging on climate change but appears to have engaged negatively on specific climate-related regulations in South Africa, for example the carbon tax and GHG emissions legislation. SAPIA also appears to support a sustained role for fossil fuels in the energy mix, including oil and LPG.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: SAPIA has very limited top-line communications on climate change. In its 2019 Annual Report, published in March 2020, SAPIA appeared to support the draft Climate Change Bill in South Africa, arguing that it is necessary to provide policy certainty. In a July 2020 media statement, SAPIA also stated that the low-carbon transition can “only be accomplished through collaboration, effective policy, and finance”. However, InfluenceMap has not found any evidence of explicit support for the need to reduce GHG emissions in line with IPCC guidance. SAPIA appeared to support the Paris Agreement in a July 2017 tweet, but there has been no further evidence since then.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: SAPIA appears to have engaged negatively on climate-related regulations. In its 2019 Annual Report, published in March 2020, SAPIA disclosed some details of its position on, and engagement with, South African climate policy. In this report, SAPIA appeared unsupportive of the application of South Africa’s carbon tax to the refinery sector, directly advocating for the tax to be passed through to consumers in discussions with policymakers. SAPIA has also engaged negatively on South Africa’s GHG Reporting Regulations and Pollution Prevention Plans, maintaining that emissions reporting on standby generators amounts to “regulatory overload” and should be excluded. In its 2018 Annual Report, published in April 2019, SAPIA also appeared to advocate for the removal of criminal liability for the failure to register, report or submit a pollution prevention plan under South African legislation.

Positioning on Energy Transition: SAPIA appears broadly unsupportive of the energy transition, supporting a continued role for fossil fuels in the energy mix, including oil and liquified petroleum gas (LPG). In September 2021, SAPIA published a presentation on its corporate website outlining the economic contribution of the oil industry to South Africa, including benefits to GDP, energy security, and employment. In a 2020 position paper on its corporate website, SAPIA supported the increased use of LPG in South Africa to reduce carbon emissions. In a July 2020 media release, SAPIA also supported the Liquified Petroleum Expansion Initiative in South Africa, which aims to double consumption of LPG in five years.