Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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Caught in the cross-hairs: how industry lobbyists are gunning for EU climate targets

When big business comes across EU climate targets it instinctively reaches for its big guns, unleashing CEOs and a volley of lobbyists in an attempt to avoid substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The first six months of 2011 have seen the latest round of this contest, with two policy initiatives re-opening the debate on European reduction targets. A new EP report, calling upon the EU to raise its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target from 20 to 30 per cent, will be voted on at the 23 June plenary session of the European Parliament. This is a step in the right direction, although it still falls well short of what is needed to tackle climate change.

The second initiative is the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050, which has been proposed by the European Commission, and which will be discussed on 21 June at the inter-ministerial  environment Council. The Roadmap sets out a path for the EU to reduce its emissions by 80 to 95 per cent by 2050, but suggests a route that is littered with false “solutions” such as carbon trading, nuclear energy, agrofuels and carbon capture and storage (CCS), all of which have severe social and environmental impacts.

This report by Corporate Europe Observatory and Carbon Trade Watch shows how BusinessEurope, the European employers’ confederation, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (Eurofer) have launched a bullying campaign to prevent a rise in targets and other steps. In so doing, they have counted on support from DG Enterprise, in particular. Tensions between DG Energy and DG Clima are also being exploited by the industry lobbyists in their attempts to further weaken the EU’s climate commitments.

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Carbon Welfare

The reform of the EU Emissions Trading System could hand more than €230 billion in subsidies to energy intensive industries, a new report from Corporate Europe Observatory shows.

New analysis of lobby meetings shows that EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and his colleague Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President for the Energy Union, have overwhelmingly met corporate lobbyists, rather than public interest groups.

As the final days of COP22 approach, Corporate Europe Observatory, Corporate Accountability International, 350.org and AITEC have published further evidence of the close relationship between policy makers and Big Polluters in the EU. The central findings of the analysis are presented in three infographics.

As the investigation into the Dieselgate affair deepens both in VW’s home country Germany as well as at EU-level, the European Commission’s role in the scandal comes into focus. Corporate Europe Observatory recently obtained leaked documents which reveal the illegal attempt of the Commission’s enterprise department (DG Enterprise) to delay enforcement of EU emissions standards for diesel cars in a bid to help industry save money.

CEO welcomes the very strongly worded final ruling by European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly in her inquiry into the Commission's implementation of UN rules for contacts with tobacco industry lobbyists.

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Carbon Welfare

The reform of the EU Emissions Trading System could hand more than €230 billion in subsidies to energy intensive industries, a new report from Corporate Europe Observatory shows.

In the last years, controversies around the financialisation of nature and the concept of natural capital have fuelled divisions within civil society.

Over 450 public interest groups from across Europe and Canada today published an open letter urging legislators to vote against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). They joined forces to defend people and planet against the threats posed by the EU-Canada agreement.

The corporate lobby tour