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Brussels, Belgium

Climate Lobbying Overview: BusinessEurope has predominantly opposed EU climate policy ambition since 2015, and, despite some increased positive communication concerning climate neutrality and the transition of the energy mix in 2020 and 2021, appears to continue to lobby against various aspects of increased climate policy stringency proposed under the EU's Green Deal.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: BusinessEurope appears to be supportive of net-zero emissions in the EU, but has predominantly associated this with a timeline of “around mid-century”, rather than by 2050 specifically, including in feedback on the 2030 Climate Target Impact Assessment in 2020. However, the association has communicated inconsistent positions in recent months, in an EU ETS consultation response in February 2021 the association appeared to shift its position to support climate neutrality by 2050, but in March 2021 in a newsletter BusinessEurope supported a timeline of around mid-century. BusinessEurope seems to support government policies to respond to climate change but tends to emphasize that they must support competitiveness, suggesting that policymakers should avoid “over-regulation” in the EU’s current approach to the Green Deal in a letter to the European Council in March 2021. In April 2021, President Pierre Gattaz advocated directly to EU Commissioner Thierry Breton that the EU’s upcoming Fit-For-55 package must secure industrial competitiveness.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: BusinessEurope does not seem to support ambitious climate regulation in the EU. The association does not appear to support raising the ambition of the EU’s 2030 Climate Target to 55%, with Director General Markus J. Beyrer suggesting in 2020 that 2030 is too early for nascent technologies to be rolled out commercially, and stressing that the plan must be cost-effective. BusinessEurope also seems to have raised concerns regarding the impact assessment on which the target is based in a position paper in 2020.

Since 2013, BusinessEurope has actively lobbied against ambitious reforms to the European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), not supporting Phase IV reforms such as reducing the number of free emission permits for industry in response to a consultation on the ETS in February 2021. In parallel, the association has appeared to support emissions trading at the expense of other regulations, opposing expanding the Industrial Emissions Directive to regulate GHG emissions from industrial installations as well as through the EU ETS in a position paper in March 2021, stressing overlapping regulation. In 2020, in feedback on the EU's proposal for a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, the organization stated preference for a global carbon price, but in the case of a mechanism being introduced it has predominantly supported the measure only as a supplement to the carbon leakage protection measures in the ETS, the free allocation of allowances. A press release in March 2021 updated this position to acknowledge protections could be phased out in the future if the mechanism proves its effectiveness.

BusinessEurope appears to take mixed positions on renewable energy support in a February 2021 position paper, stressing that the Renewable Energy Directive II was revised recently and not seeming to support increasing the renewable energy targets for member states. The association appears not to support expanding energy efficiency legislation, seeming to oppose including legally binding rules on energy efficiency in the Industrial Emissions Directive in a position paper in March 2021. In a position paper in February 2021, BusinessEurope supported energy efficiency legislation in buildings such as the EU Energy Performance for Buildings Directive, but did not appear to support caps on energy usage.

Positioning on Energy Transition: In 2019, BusinessEurope communicated support for a number of broad measures to incentivize low carbon technology uptake in sectors including buildings, transport and industry in a position paper on EU Climate and Energy Strategy. In feedback on a public consultation on ETS state aid guidelines in 2020 the association advocated for the electrification of energy-intensive industries and the decarbonization of the energy sector. However, in a 2020 consultation response BusinessEurope appeared not to support reforming taxation measures to facilitate the transition, proposing that current energy taxation exemptions should be maintained under the Energy Taxation Directive. In a March 2021 paper on transport decarbonization BusinessEurope strongly opposed a fuel tax for aviation, and appeared to use support for global GHG emissions regulations via the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to oppose regional regulation via the revised Energy Taxation Directive.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures EU Register
Communication of Climate Science
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
0 1 NA 0 NS 0 NA NA
Supporting the Need for Regulations
0 0 NA 0 -2 0 NA NA
Support of UN Climate Process
1 0 NA 0 1 1 NA NA
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
0 -1 NA -1 0 0 NA NA
Emissions Trading
0 -1 NA 0 -1 -1 NA NA
Energy and Resource Efficiency
0 -1 NA 0 NS -1 NA NA
Renewable Energy
0 NS NA -1 NS 0 NA NA
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
0 0 NA 0 NS -1 NA NA
GHG Emission Regulation
-1 NS NA -1 -1 -1 NA NA
Disclosure on Relationships