Seven Barriers to U.S. Business Leadership on Climate Policy and How to Break Them Down

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This paper identifies barriers that prevent corporations in the United States from advocating for climate policy so that companies can break them down and embrace climate advocacy. We find companies face seven key barriers to comprehensively adopting a science-based climate policy agenda. None of these barriers are an excuse for inaction. The purpose of this paper is to help individuals within a company anticipate and overcome these obstacles. In the conclusion, we offer a checklist of specific actions and strategies to clear multiple barriers (e.g., conducting a risk analysis) and to help advance essential public policies that address climate change.

The audience for this paper is C-suite and other key staff members within large (Fortune 500) companies that strive to be climate leaders. Though the United States grants companies of all sizes the right to engage in political lobbying and campaign financing, those that have larger operations and revenue have a greater capacity, empowered by greater resources, to directly participate in the federal policymaking process. Similarly, this paper focuses on political influence at the federal level.

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