Share Action

Spotlight on BASF for Undermining Key Climate Policies

(Thursday 27th April) Today, ShareAction will put a question to the AGM of BASF, the chemicals company giant that has been branded the world’s third worst climate lobbyer, asking its Board of Executive Directors to stop resisting new environmental legislation.

ShareAction will highlight that BASF, with a carbon footprint almost matching Uzbekistan’s and its population of 35 million, has consistently tried to block green European policies. These policies include the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and changes to the EU Emissions Trading System, both of which would encourage chemicals companies to cut their emissions faster, both inside and outside of Europe.

Penny Fowler, Head of Corporate Climate Campaigns, said: “Clearly something needs to change if an industry leader such as BASF is publicly claiming to support key Paris Agreement goals but lobbying against legislation that aims to deliver them. Today, ShareAction is saying that BASF must match words with deeds and use its large lobbying power responsibly.”

The intensity of BASF’s lobbying has earned it the position of third place in a ranking of the world’s most negative climate lobbyists. Only oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron are worse, according to think tank InfluenceMap.

One piece of legislation that BASF has opposed is the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which will introduce a carbon tax on European imports. By making it more expensive to send products with a high carbon footprint to Europe, the policy both encourages companies outside of the continent to decarbonise, and removes the incentive for EU companies to flee to somewhere with a weaker regulatory requirement. Chemicals will be exempt for now, following opposition from BASF and industry trade associations.

The chemicals industry has historically not had the same level of scrutiny over its fossil fuel use as other areas like travel or farming. Not many are aware that the sector is globally responsible for six per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, which can only be reduced if chemicals companies act immediately to reduce their reliance on damaging fossil fuels.

The latest climate science from the IPCC revealed that it is only through “rapid”, “deep” and “immediate” GHG emissions reductions that the planet can limit its global warming to 1.5C.

Notes to editors

  • For a full breakdown of BASF’s lobbying activities please see this research from LobbyMap:
  • The question that ShareAction will be asking can be found in full here.
  • ShareAction has produced a benchmark that sets clear, measurable and evidence-based standards for chemical companies that are truly aligned with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
  • Full list of the chemical companies covered by ShareAction’s campaign: BASF, LyondellBasell, EMS Chemie Holdings, Air Liquide, Covestro, Croda International, Koninklijke DSM, Evonik Industries, Givaudan, Lanxess, Solvay, Symrise and Yara International.

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