Consolidated Edison

InfluenceMap Score
B-
Performance Band
77%
Organisation Score
63%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
New York, United States
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) appears to engage with mostly positive positions on U.S. climate policy, including on the state and local level in New York. While the company has taken legal action to support GHG emissions standards, it demonstrates mixed positions on the long-term role of fossil gas. Con Edison’s CEO serves on the board of directors for the American Gas Association (AGA), a group whose negative engagement includes opposition to the proposed methane fee in the Build Back Better Act as well as a widespread campaign against building electrification.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Con Edison appears to have limited, though positive top-line messaging on climate policy. In its 2021 Sustainability Report released June 2022, the company stated support for “efforts by local, state, and federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Con Edison also supported New York state’s net-zero carbon target for 2050 in a May 2022 press release. In its 2021 Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation report, Con Edison uses the Paris Agreement pathway as a means to evaluate its own climate change risks without stating a position on the need for a global climate deal.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: Con Edison appears to engage positively on U.S. climate policy. In January 2022, the company signed a joint letter organized by the American Clean Power Association that advocated to Congressional leadership to pass the clean energy tax credits in the Build Back Better Act. That same month, Con Edison submitted a joint merits brief to the Supreme Court on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that advocated for the authority of the agency to regulate GHG emissions. In January 2021, Con Edison released a statement in support of the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals to vacate the Affordable Clean Energy rule, a Trump-era rule designed to support coal-fired power plants. The company has also advocated to the EPA to support federal regulations on methane, including in January 2022 and November 2019.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Con Edison demonstrates mostly positive positions on the energy transition, however with conflicting engagement on the role of fossil gas. In New York, for example, although the company has taken more positive positions on building electrification proposals compared to its industry peers, it still appears to advocate for a long-term role for the gas infrastructure system. In terms of positive engagement, Con Edison circulated a March 2022 policy memo that advocated for building electrification legislative proposals in the New York state draft budget and supported the New York City Council’s vote in December 2021 to limit fossil gas in new buildings. The company also joined the Natural Resources Defense Council in July 2022 in urging the New York Climate Action Council to include ambitious building electrification and energy efficiency provisions in the state’s climate plan. However, Con Edison has advocated to include such fuels as “renewable natural gas” and hydrogen into New York policies without setting clear conditions on deploying CCS or methane abatement measures: for example, in July 2022 comments on the New York draft climate plan, the company joined National Grid and Avangrid subsidiaries in advocating for these fuels as an “alternative to full electrification;” previously, in November 2021, Con Edison submitted testimony on the New York City’s gas ban bill in which it stated that it supports building code amendments that reduce fossil fuel use, while advocating for the final version of the legislation to “not preclude the use of low-carbon fuels.”

Con Edison appears to engage positively on vehicle electrification measures. Following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022, Con Edison published a press release supporting the legislation’s electric vehicle incentives. Previously, the company published an August 2021 Tweet in support of President Biden’s executive order that set a goal for half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be zero-emissions.

Industry Association Governance: Con Edison has a dedicated Political Engagement webpage where it discloses its trade association memberships but omits details of its own climate policy positions as well as those of the industry groups. The company lists its membership to the American Gas Association, which has opposed the proposed methane fee in the Build Back Better Act and maintains a broadly negative stance on climate policy, but neglects to disclose that its CEO, Timothy P. Crawley, serves on the group’s Board of Directors. Con Edison is also a member of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which demonstrates mixed positions on U.S. climate policy. EEI supported the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits while previously engaging to weaken the Build Back Better Act’s proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program.

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DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
27%
 
27%
 
91%
 
91%
 
91%
 
91%
 
57%
 
57%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.