• Polling reveals majority of Europeans across Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Spain want companies operating in the EU to be compelled to reduce emissions
  • Over 200 civil society organisations and individuals sign open letter calling for greater corporate climate accountability along global supply chains
  • Show of support comes just weeks ahead of crucial vote on proposed legislation

New polling has revealed strong public support for a European corporate due diligence law that, if passed, would require companies operating in the EU to take action to reduce their emissions.

The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, currently passing through the EU Parliament, could require companies operating in the EU to take action to identify and prevent human rights abuses as well as environmental harms such as deforestation and pollution along their entire global value chains. The Justice is Everybody’s Business campaign commissioned polling across 10 EU countries including Spain, Austria and France, which revealed that:

Almost three quarters (74%) of Europeans support an EU law which would require all companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, with (65%) calling for companies to reduce their emissions even during an energy crisis.

Almost two thirds (64%) believe banks must also be held accountable for the actions of businesses they invest in or lend money to.

Since the introduction of the draft law to Parliament, financial institutions have spent at least €100 million on lobbying the European Union. Countries like France have pushed to exclude the financial sector from the proposed new EU due diligence rules.

Alban Grosdidier, Climate campaigner for Justice is Everybody’s Business, said:

“The weight of opinion across the EU is clear. Stronger rules are required to ensure companies and banks are properly held to account across their entire value chains and do not continue to operate at the expense of people and planet. The draft law in its current form is too weak to work in practice, and needs to be further strengthened to ensure companies are required to develop and implement transition plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Passing this landmark law would mean companies like Shell and TotalEnergies can no longer shirk responsibility for the harms they cause in Europe and abroad.”

Alongside the polling, over 200 leading figures and civil society organisations have signed a statement demanding ‘a strong EU law that is fit to tackle the climate crisis and deliver climate justice’. The letter includes signatories from notable campaigners such as Camille Etienne (France), Adélaïde Charlier (Belgium) and Luisa Neubauer (Germany). The letter comes ahead of a critical vote on the draft legislation by MEPs in the Committee on Legal Affairs.

Belgian Youth for Climate (YFC) representative, Adélaïde Charlier, said:

«This is a historic moment in the fight against the climate crisis, for the first time companies across the EU could be firmly held to account for their climate impacts. The groundswell of support for a strong EU law that is fit to tackle the climate crisis and deliver climate justice is becoming impossible to ignore. The upcoming JURI vote must send a strong and clear message to EU lawmakers, now is the time to act.»

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Figures are based on a survey of a nationally and politically representative sample of adults in Germany (n=2000) and France (n=1000). The survey was also fielded to a nationally representative samples of adults in Ireland (n=1000), Belgium (n=1000), Finland (n=1000), Austria (n=1000), Poland (n=1000), Slovenia (n=500), Spain (n=1000), and the Netherlands (n=1000). Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 16th February 2023. The survey was carried out online. European level figures are averages of the proportion selecting each response across the nations surveyed. You can find an overview of the aggregrated results here.