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Climate lobbying in the Trump era

Feb 21

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21/02/2017 12:36  RssIcon

Which trade associations are lobbying against climate policy 

America’s election result triggers a renewed attack on climate policy from US trade associations.

UK non-profit, InfluenceMap, has released new evidence that illustrates how US industry associations have seized the chance to lobby against climate change regulations and push for policies that favour de-regulation and the fossil fuel economy.

Image: Climate Lobbying


Lobby groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, have called on the President’s team to roll back on policies such as the Clean Power Plan; methane regulations affecting the oil and gas sector; a decision to limit offshore drilling; and for a more cautious approach to US Federal energy efficiency (CAFE) standards for vehicles.

What’s more, a number of these groups have representatives in the President’s cabinet or are key advisers. Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has been on the executive committee of the American Petroleum Institute, has now been confirmed as the Secretary of State, for example.

Table: lobbying against climate policy


In a December 14th press release, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), currently ranked by InfluenceMap as the entity most obstructive towards climate policy, highlighted the critical role it will play in the new administration and the “sheer number of ALEC alumni in the new administration”, including four members in its current leadership council.

A glimmer of hope may be found with US companies that have tried to maintain the momentum of the UN climate treaty and its national implementation in the US. More than 530 companies, including Nike, Intel and Dupont signed an open letter on November 16th addressed to the President-elect, along with President Obama, Members of US Congress and global leaders asking for the “continuation of low-carbon policies to allow the US to meet or exceed our promised national commitment”.

However, despite these companies signing up to various climate commitments, some still remain members of trade groups that have lobbied against ambitious climate regulation.

For example, Intel has signed the Low Carbon Pledge urging “continued US participation in the Paris Agreement”, yet is a board member of the National Association of Manufacturers which has suggested post-election that US obligations are too high in comparison with those of China.


Dylan Tanner, Executive Director of InfluenceMap:

“Corporations should ensure their climate policy values are reflected in the key US trade associations they are members of. Climate change is not just another ‘Climate Lobbying in the Trump Era’ regulatory issue, it is the seminal challenge of our generation and policy leadership is essential”.



What can you do?

Join our personal carbon divestment campaign. Divest your money away from banks still funding fossil fuel projects. Switch to accounts actively supporting new renewable energy projects. Find out how to switch here. 









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