Duke Energy

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Charlotte, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Duke Energy Renewables, Duke Energy Retail, Duke Energy International
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Duke Energy appears to have a largely negative engagement with climate change policy in the US. While the company holds positive positions on some policies, such as the Solar Investment Tax Credit, it continues to advocate for the role of fossil gas in the energy mix. Duke also maintains membership in several industry groups whose lobbying appears misaligned from the goals of the Paris Agreement, such as the US Chamber of Commerce.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Duke's 2020 Climate Report does not appear to support global emissions reductions as recommended by the IPCC. The report also states that the company prefers market-based approaches to incentivize decarbonization rather than "imposing a price or dictating a certain generation mix." However, in 2021, Duke CEO Lynn Good stated support for the Biden Administration to re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Duke Energy demonstrates mixed engagement with climate-related regulations. The company did not express a clear position on North Carolina's move to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in 2021, except to state that it will comply with the program. Duke does not appear to have directly engaged in federal discussions of a Clean Energy Standard. The utility supported the Clean Energy Future Through Innovation Act of 2021 which, rather than mandating clean energy use by utilities, establishes a target of 80% reduction in annual power sector carbon dioxide emissions below the level in the year of enactment by 2050. In 2019, Duke Energy opposed net metering programs in various states and lobbied to increase the fixed monthly charges on electric bills, limiting incentives for certain forms of solar energy generation. On the other hand, Duke supported the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit to increase solar incentives for households in 2020. Previously, in 2018, it supported repealing the Clean Power Plan to replace it with the weaker Affordable Clean Energy Rule.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Duke's 2020 Climate Report offers broad support for policies that promote technological advancement toward decarbonization, yet the company's communications focused on promoting the role of fossil gas in the US energy mix. In a March 2021 interview, Duke CEO Lynn Good said public policy must "speak about the role of natural gas" and implied support for new fossil gas infrastructure. In May 2021, in response to pushback from large tech companies, Duke Energy defended its position on fossil gas, stating that gas was necessary to allow renewables to scale without placing clear conditions on the need for carbon capture or methane abatement measures. In June 2021, Duke appeared to work with policymakers in North Carolina to advance a bill that, among other provisions, mandated the replacement of retiring coal plants in the state with fossil gas infrastructure.

In 2020, Duke suggested that decarbonization of the power sector by 2035 -- a tenet of President Biden's climate plan -- was unattainable. That same year, it supported legislation criminalizing protests against fossil fuel infrastructure. On the other hand, in 2021, CEO Lynn Good stated support for policies to facilitate the complete electrification of transportation by 2030. Duke supported electric vehicle charging stations in Kentucky in 2019 and co-launched the Zero Emission Transportation Association the following year.

Industry Association Governance: Duke Energy remains a member of several groups actively opposed to US climate change policy, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Gas Association. It may also be a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, as evidenced in the list of attendees to ALEC's 2019 Annual Meeting. Duke has published a Trade Associations Climate Review, in which it describes its alignment with each trade association but does not include details on specific climate change policy engagement activities.

A detailed assessment of the company's industry association review can be found on our CA100+ webpage here.

Strength of Relationship

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.