The AAA framework for climate policy leadership

It’s time to lead on climate policy.

Climate change poses an unprecedented threat to companies’ operations, value chains, employees and communities. The economic costs of climate change – from damage to facilities, disrupted operations and supply chains and lost productivity – are already in the hundreds of millions of dollars and expected to reach trillions. While voluntary actions to reduce emissions are important, only public policy can deliver reductions at the speed and scale needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change. That’s why climate policy advocacy is an essential element of corporate sustainability leadership.

As a company, your political influence is a critical tool in the fight against climate change. The following are three essential actions to execute a science-based climate policy agenda:

ADVOCATE for policies consistent with achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

There’s no silver bullet to get to net zero. It will require a portfolio of policies including a national system that ensures dramatic reductions in GHG emissions across the U.S. economy, complemented by targeted policies that accelerate low-carbon innovation, address barriers to clean energy and energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transportation, support farmers and forest landowners in reducing emissions and improving climate resilience, and ensure equitable outcomes for communities.

ALIGN your trade associations’ climate policy advocacy with the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

It’s no longer tenable for companies to say the right things on climate policy while allowing their trade associations – which have far greater political clout – to lobby against those policies.

ALLOCATE advocacy spending to advance climate policies, not obstruct them.

Direct advocacy and lobbying by trade associations aren’t the only ways to influence policymakers. Through your political giving and funding of third-party organizations, you send a strong message about the kind of climate policy agenda you want to see enacted. 

Read It’s time to Lead on climate policy: an open letter to the CEOs of Corporate America.