The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on leading global think tank, InfluenceMap’s new report into Australian companies’ and industry associations’ approaches to climate and energy policy.
Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“This research confirms what ACCR has argued for some time: that a relatively small number of companies and their industry associations continue to dominate Australia’s response to climate change.
“Far too many companies claim to support the Paris Agreement, while directly and indirectly (through their industry associations) lobby for policies at odds with reducing emissions, particularly the expansion of fossil fuel extraction.
“The cognitive dissonance couldn’t be starker.
“The carbon lobby - dominated by coal, oil and gas companies - are detrimentally effective in shaping Australia’s climate and energy policy. Their influence has not waned.
“There is no greater example of this influence than Australia’s so-called ‘gas-fired recovery’. The gas industry lobbied the Federal government extensively throughout 2020 to fast-track the development of new gas basins, distracting attention from its pandemic response.
“If the Government had focused on vaccines instead of gas basins, we surely wouldn’t be in the current mess we are in now.
“The peak body for the oil and gas industry, APPEA, has taken credit for the Federal government’s focus on gas in its pandemic response.
“Investors in these companies have a critical role to play in ensuring corporate commitments on climate change are consistent with the advocacy of their industry associations.
“If we are to have any chance of an effective government response to climate change, the toxic advocacy of the most obstructive companies and industry associations must end.”
ACCR has filed shareholder resolutions on climate-related lobbying with BHP Group, Origin Energy and South32 for consideration at their upcoming AGMs.