Global standard on responsible climate lobbying launches

Investor statement of intent recognises crucial role of lobbying in global warming

An investor group including BNP Paribas Asset Management, the Church of England Pensions Board and AP7 has launched a global standard on responsible climate lobbying to ensure companies’ lobbying and political engagement activities keep global warming within 1.5⁰C.

The standard consists of 14 policy and practice indicators that companies must adhere to on a comply or explain basis. There is also an investor statement of intent asset managers can sign up to, recognising the powerful role of corporate lobbying in tackling climate change.

“We recognise that corporate lobbying – directly and through organisations such as trade associations, industry alliances and industry coalitions – has frequently opposed policy measures that would support the goal of delivering net-zero emissions by 2050,” the group said in its statement of intent.

“Equally, we recognise that responsible corporate lobbying has the potential to unlock action on climate transition initiatives.”

Read more: PRI conference: Active owners get tough on fossil fuel’s climate lobbying

Among the commitments for corporates, the standard specifies disclosing the funding and other support companies provide to all trade associations involved in climate change-related lobbying, and to take action if lobbying activity undertaken by themselves or their trade associations would work against the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Chronos Sustainability, InfluenceMap and the London School of Economics supported the development of the standard, and it was advised by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (Europe) among others.

Adam Kanzer, head of stewardship, Americas at BNP Paribas said: “We must ensure that we are all rowing in the same direction. Corporate lobbying that is misaligned with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement is not simply a waste of corporate assets, it is a common threat to our future.”