Companies addressing the systemic risk of climate change should make sure their lobbying activity is compatible, according to an action plan released Thursday by Ceres.
Ceres' Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change builds on a 2019 open letter to American corporate CEOs that called on them to adopt a science-based climate policy agenda in line with the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The blueprint calls on companies to assess their climate-related risks and how lobbying efforts exacerbate or mitigate these risks; to systematize decision-making on climate change across the company including direct and indirect lobbying; and to align both direct and indirect lobbying with science-based climate policies.
"While many companies continue to tackle climate change in their operations and supply chains, they have yet to set up corporate structures that address the issue as a systemic financial risk and ensure all corporate actions — including their direct lobbying or lobbying through their trade associations — are in step with the latest science," said blueprint author Veena Ramani, senior program director of the capital market systems at Ceres, in a statement.
Anne L. Kelly, vice president of government relations at Ceres, said in the statement: "If companies are truly going to be advocates for change, they must use their voices inside and outside their walls to call for effective science-based public policy at the state and federal levels — policies that match their science-based climate goals." That includes aligning their trade association activity. "They can no longer stand for climate action and then support trade associations working against climate policy," Ms. Kelly said.