Advocacy is essential to bring about science-based climate policy that unlocks investment and delivers action at scale. Corporate climate leaders use their powerful voices, activities and associations to call for strong policy ambition.
Commit to speak up
Make a public commitment to advocate for ambitious climate policy and engage key stakeholders.
Corporate climate leaders embed advocacy into their core strategy. They are keenly aware of the business benefits of a thriving decarbonized economy, which can’t be achieved without strong public policy. They make their position clear and activate internal and external stakeholders.
How to achieve it:
Get started by publicly promoting your commitment to advancing high-impact climate policy. For example, a statement on your website, a press release, or a foreword from your CEO in your annual report.
Establish governance, decision-making and review processes on direct and indirect climate lobbying across the company.
Get management, directors and employees on board with climate policy engagement. Inform suppliers and customers about your ambition and rationale for advancing climate policy.
Policy ambition is essential to get all parties across the value chain on board, which is critical to achieve our climate targets. On a broader scale, efforts to mitigate every fraction of a degree of temperature increases will define whether or not we can look forward to a thriving, secure and resilient future.
Gonzalo Sáenz de Miera,
Global Director of Climate Change and Alliances, Iberdrola
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Publicly advocate for bold science-based climate policies, and call out those that obstruct the 1.5°C pathway
Businesses must clearly and confidently make the case for rapid decarbonization policies at the international, national, sub-national and sectoral levels, and not lobby against them. This helps drive the ‘ambition loop’: growing corporate action spurs governments to set stronger policies that help businesses achieve their climate goals faster.
How to achieve it:
Directly engage with policy makers across geographies (through company lobbyists, your CEO, senior management and staff), backed with evidence of your own climate ambition, action and accountability. Encourage stronger climate policies and oppose those that obstruct the path to a net-zero economy.
Mobilize your networks and collaborate with peers and suppliers, to call for change and demonstrate growing corporate action. Include your climate position in corporate and brand communications, set up or join business initiatives and alliances, and act as a guide for industry groups. Sign joint letters and speak up together at events and on social media.
Use corporate activities and investments to leverage and influence. For example, choose locations for new facilities based on climate policy: a tech company may open a data center where there’s sufficient renewable energy supply, or a new electric vehicle factory may influence local or national low-carbon transport policy.
There is an opportunity to take Responsible Policy Engagement global. It’s something the We Mean Business Coalition will be exploring with partners over coming months, writes our Managing Director of Policy, Sophie Punte.
ALIGN TRADE ASSOCIATIONS
Align the climate policy advocacy of your trade associations, alliances and coalitions with the goal of net zero by 2050.
Corporate lobbying against strong climate policy is common and extremely powerful when carried out by business groups and associations. It risks diluting companies’ individual advocacy efforts, and discrediting the voice of business more generally in the climate debate. Trade associations (and other alliances and coalitions) are often misaligned with individual members’ own climate ambition — and silence implies support.
How to achieve it:
Map your company’s links to trade associations (and other relevant alliances and coalitions). Assess the alignment of their direct and indirect climate change positions and lobbying activities with the 1.5°C pathway.
Publicly acknowledge and commit to resolving misalignment. Take action to address it, for example by publicly distancing your company from relevant trade associations’ positions or statements, working with trade associations to develop 1.5°C-aligned positions, or, if necessary, leave.
Collaborate with other corporate members to pressure trade associations, and build momentum for positive climate advocacy. If, as a group, you can’t enact change, then leave as one to send a powerful signal.
Unilever advocates for policies that advance the goal of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change... We would invite all our trade associations and business groups that are engaged on climate policy to consider whether the level of ambition for which they are advocating is truly consistent with the deep emissions cuts implicit in the Paris Agreement and that the latest science makes clear are necessary.
ALLOCATE ADVOCACY SPENDING
Allocate advocacy spending to advance climate policies, not obstruct them.
Corporate spending can greatly influence policy makers, and your political giving and funding of third-party organizations sends a strong message about the climate policy you want to see.
How to achieve it:
Assess all spending that’s relevant to climate policy, including direct lobbying, contributions to trade associations and other organizations involved in climate change, and contributions to political parties, candidates and elected officials.
Contribute to organizations and initiatives that advance climate policy, including policy research, policy advocacy and communications that amplify the voice of corporate climate leaders. Stop all contributions to third parties that oppose or undermine climate policies.
Ensure that the net effect of any company contributions to organizations and political parties, candidates or elected officials is to advance climate policy, not obstruct it.
By following these steps, your company is aligning with the Advocate-Align-Allocate Leadership Framework.