InfluenceMap analyses and assesses corporate influence on climate policy, developing an online portal that ranks companies and trade associations based on how much they shape climate legislation.
Climate policies can fluctuate, chop and change and disappear faster than you can say ‘two degrees’. Australia, for example, was named earlier this year in the Africa Progress Report 2015 for its back-and-forth strategy on implementing effective climate policies, the most high profile example of this being the introduction and subsequent repeal of the carbon tax. Part of the reason that Australia’s carbon tax was repealed was due to backlash over the tax that came from businesses – in particular, from the mining, aviation and energy industries.
When it comes to developing climate legislation, balancing corporate interest with environmental concerns is a tricky business – quite often, some of the bigger lobbying powerhouses represent industries, like coal and oil, that have been shown to be detrimental to the environment.
A UK non-profit called InfluenceMap measures and provides data about corporate influence on climate policy, assessing some of the world’s biggest corporations and trade associations and the role they play in shaping climate policies. The results have been compiled via existing data (published by a company itself or via a third party like CDP) and research and companies have been ranked via InfluenceMap’s interactive online table. Google, Unilever and Cisco Systems are ranked first, second and thrid respectively while Duke Energy, Reliance Industries, Philipps 66 and Koch Industries occupy the bottom spots. InfluenceMap also analysed various trade associations, noting that many organisations ‘outsource’ their lobbying needs to these associations in order to maintain a good climate record.
The data – which is open source and available to anyone to use – does not take into account an organisation’s efforts to reduce its own carbon footprint, instead focusing more on how much an organisation supports or obstructs the development of appropriate climate policies say, for example, by engaging in lobbying practices that work in favour of fossil fuels.