Which companies are blocking climate change progress? InfluenceMap wants you to know

Oil Drilling
CC BY 2.0 Nestor Galina

The UK-based non-profit InfluenceMap gave Koch Industries and Duke Energy failing marks, as it did Phillips 66 and the Asian energy company Reliance Industries. Using data aggregation, analysis and original research, InfluenceMap graded major global corporations on their influence on climate change policies, in an effort to understand how corporate influence is holding back climate progress.

Google, Unilever and Cisco Systems came out ahead in InfluenceMap’s ratings, however no company earned a grade above a "B." Chevron and BP both earned “E-" grades. Comcast and 21st Century Fox earned “E-" grades as well, making them the lowest ranking media companies. You can see the full list here.

Not everyone agrees with the non-profit’s methodology, which was developed in part by the Union of Concerned Scientists. A representative from Duke Energy told Bloomberg that they "question the credibility of a report that appears to compile an Internet search to mischaracterize the company’s position and our real work to lower our carbon footprint.” For example, the company has been working to lower its emissions by replacing coal burning energy plants with natural gas. Duke Energy received an “F” grade from InfluenceMap.

According to InfluenceMap, their scores do not measure actual climate change performance, such as carbon footprint, but rather "the extent to which a corporation is supporting or obstructing the climate policy process."

InfluenceMap also graded trade associations, like the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the American Chemistry Council. These trade groups can be particularly powerful when it comes to pushing policy forward or blocking regulation.

“More and more, we’re seeing companies rely on their trade groups to do their dirty work of lobbying against comprehensive climate policies,” said InfluenceMap adviser Gretchen Goldman in a statement. Five trade associations received an “F” grade: the International Air Transport Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

InfluenceMap hopes to continue to expand their platform, which they say could one day be applied to other areas of policy and legislation.

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