InfluenceMap's 2021 A-List of Climate Policy Engagement identifies 15 corporate leaders advocating for ambitious climate policy across a range of sectors and regions. To qualify, a company must exhibit sufficient support for ambitious climate policy, strategic levels of engagement with climate policy, and leadership in its sector. Links to industry associations egregiously opposing climate policy can disqualify a company from the list.
Many of the 2021 leaders are also in InfluenceMap’s 2018 A-List of Climate Policy report: Unilever (U.K., Netherlands), Iberdrola (Spain), Nestlé (Switzerland), Enel (Italy), Tesla (US), IKEA (Netherlands), EDP (Portugal), and AkzoNobel (Netherlands) have all continued to advocate for ambitious climate policy in their respective jurisdictions. This year’s A-List also adds Edison International (US), EDF (France), Verbund (Austria), and H&M (Sweden), which rose from the 2018 list of Potential Leaders, as well as Acciona (Spain), Ørsted (Denmark), and Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation (PG&E, US).
In addition to the A-List of corporate leaders, this report offers 21 ‘Potential Leaders’ which appear to be on the right track. These are held back for reasons such as low engagement or extreme misalignment with their industry associations. Japan-based Aeon makes this list: while the company does not appear highly active on climate, its support for ambitious climate policy in Japan suggests the potential for future leadership. Others, like Apple, haven fallen from the A-List due to an increased bar for Engagement Intensity since the 2018 report.
The Utilities sector appears to be the most active and positive on climate policy overall, particularly in Europe, whereas only one company from the Automotive sector – Tesla – makes the A-List. This report also highlights a handful of companies such as Johnson Controls in the Industrial sector which do not meet all criteria for A-List or Potential Leader status, but which stand out in their sector for relatively positive climate advocacy.
Industry association misalignment is a common factor eliminating companies from the A-List, particularly in the US. For example, US companies Microsoft and Salesforce along with European companies Siemens AG and Schneider Electric appear to remain members of US groups like the National Association of Manufacturers and/or US Chamber of Commerce. While InfluenceMap does not recommend any singular course of action to address corporate misalignment with industry associations, these companies are excluded from the A-List because they have not disclosed any real efforts to reform the trade groups on climate policy, while remaining their members and funders.
European companies make up the majority of the A-List, having consistently and actively supported Paris-aligned climate policy in the EU. Conversely, companies from the US, Japan, Australia, and Canada are far less common in this list, which could be a major reason for the lack of binding, progressive climate policy in these regions. Active support from the European corporate sector has likely amplified the leadership of the EU on climate since the Paris Agreement, while insufficient or obstructive activity from the corporate sector and its industry groups has held back climate policy in much of the rest of the world.
Only 4% of the 350 companies evaluated by InfluenceMap for this analysis make the A-List. The results reflect a high bar for leadership in climate policy engagement, with stricter criteria applied in 2021 than in the 2018 report. The remaining majority of companies remain on the sidelines of active and progressive climate advocacy.