Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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BP - Extracting Influence in the EU

BP - Extracting Influence at the Heart of the EUOil industry lobbying at the heart of the EU has played a key role in influencing Europe's energy policy, according to a new report from Corporate Europe Observatory and PLATFORM. The report, BP - Extracting Influence at the Heart of the EU, reveals the oil giant's close relationship with decision makers and highlights how the company has convinced Commissioners and others that BP's interests are in the EU's interest - allowing it to promote profit-driven approaches to climate change through emissions trading as well as encouraging risky dependence on Russian gas. BP's close relationship with the EU has led to a "shared agenda" and belief that what is in BP's interest, is also in the interest of the EU.
BP - Extracting influence at the heart of the EU
An Introduction


BP is one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies (IOCs) and Europe’s second largest corporation. This report examines BP’s interface with Brussels, analysing what the company might achieve through European Union (EU) support and how the company stands to benefit from EU policies. It looks at the resources the company devotes to lobbying in Brussels and the methods it uses.  Two case studies explore in more detail the role BP has played in shaping the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (Putting the Fox in Charge of the Henhouse) and how BP has benefited from the political weight of the EU in its dealings in Russia (BP and Russian Bear). It concludes that BP commands undue influence at the European level and that European energy security and environmental protection have been compromised through a false perception among decision-makers that what is good for BP is also good for the EU.

 

 

It's almost six months since EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete claimed to have negotiated an historic global deal to tackle climate change at COP21in Paris. The 3 May also marked a year and a half of Cañete being in the job. However, he and his his boss, Vice President of the Commission Maros Šefčovič, continue to give privileged access to fossil fuel players trashing the climate, who have enjoyed eight meetings to every one involving renewable energy or energy efficiency interests since the Paris deal was signed. Rather than a change of direction, it's business as usual for the European Commission following the Paris Agreement, which is great news for Big Energy but a disaster for those serious about tackling climate change.

In the middle of May over 4000 people from all over Europe gathered in the Lusatia region in Eastern Germany. The plan? To block a Vattenfall-owned opencast lignite mine.

In light of the ITRE Opinion and forthcoming discussion on the proposed Directive to reform the Emissions Trading System (and “enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments”), CEO offers comments. 

Ultimately, revisions of this sort are nowhere near enough. The new ETS Directive requires some "damage limitation." But it is also a time to reflect on the need to move beyond emissions trading at the heart of EU climate policy. There are many ways to achieve this: http://corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/2014/01/life-beyond-emissi...

A revised Emissions Trading Directive is like red meat for the hungry pack of lobbyists that work the corridors of Brussels’ political institutions. Even minor differences in how pollution permits are handed out can result in profits or savings of millions of euros to big polluters.

A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

José Manuel Barroso's move to Goldman Sachs has catapulted the EU’s revolving door problem onto the political agenda. It is symbolic of the excessive corporate influence at the highest levels of the EU.

Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth and LobbyControl today wrote to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, calling on him to investigate Angelika Nieber MEP over a possible conflict of interest.

CEO presents some first reflections on the UK's vote for Brexit.

 
 
 
 
 
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