Climate Change and Lobbying: For or Against?

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Ever since former Vice President Al Gore brought to light the effects of global warming and climate change, it has changed how people regard our eco-system and environment. While many businesses and politicians disregarded the Vice President’s research and how our carbon emissions and other bad habits could potentially bring about the destruction of our environment, others were more greatly concerned about protecting our planet for future generations.
Nonprofits started to form, and lobbying efforts to encourage and promote recycling were born. Awareness about how people could make their lives more “green-friendly” and reduce their carbon footprints started to become more abundantly available. Even businesses and corporations were encouraged to get on board, and the push for the paperless office movement began.

Even the federal government got involved after DC lobbyists started to inform lawmakers of public opinions. As a result, the federal government phased out the production of incandescent light bulbs, started setting aside money for research into alternative fuel and energy sources, and taking other steps to help promote a greener environment.

While there have been positive results for climate change by lobbying firms, there are others who are against regulations and reforms, as it would mean a change in how they do business. Mainly, businesses that are considered “brown,” or those that generate an excessive amount of carbon emissions in industries, include:

  • Petro, Oil, and Gas
  • Utility Providers
  • Automotive

Even though many businesses within these three industries spent the most on lobbying against reforms for climate change, there were still many operations that invested in lobbying in support of climate change reforms.

In fact, based upon research data collect from 2006 to 2009, the amounts invested by firms for lobbying efforts either for or against climate change was almost equal. The resulting spectrum was U-shaped, with those organizations that did not have much to gain or lose at the bottom of the spectrum.

reduced environmental impactOne of the main reasons a company within one of these three industries would support climate change is it would help provide them with a competitive advantage over other firms opposed to reforms. For instance, in the automotive industry, certain automakers in support of climate change could benefit if there were developing solar powered electric vehicles or other break-through technologies that were not reliant on fossil fuels.

Another example which would create a competitive advantage is if a petrol, oil, and gas company were to develop a synthetic form of gasoline.

One of the primary reasons “brown” operations oppose reforms is the cost the companies will incur to update and change how they do business. For instance, if new reforms are passed that ban certain chemicals, a company might have to discontinue a profitable product line.

As you can see, there can be valid points made by both “green” and “brown” organizations about why they are either for or against reforms to climate change regulations and laws. To ensure your voice and position on climate change is heard on the Hill, do not hesitate to call Lobbyit at 202.587.2736 today.

Source

  1. https://hbr.org/2016/10/research-whos-lobbying-congress-on-climate-change
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