General Electric

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
64%
Organisation Score
54%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Industrials
Head​quarters:
Fairfield, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
GE Capital, GE Energy, GE Aviation, GE Healthcare
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: General Electric (GE) appears to have mixed engagement with climate change policy, supporting ambitious climate action in its top-line messaging while opposing some specific climate policies, such as a U.S. CO2 standard for aircraft. GE also appears to support a long-term role for fossil gas in the energy mix, although its position on coal seems to have improved since 2020.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: GE’s top-line messaging on climate policy is mixed. In its 2020 annual report released in February 2022, GE offered an unclear position on IPCC-demanded emissions reductions, supporting urgent action on climate change while emphasizing the issue of energy poverty. Similarly, in a 2020 “Future of Energy” white paper, GE emphasized the need for “realistic times for reduction efforts” over IPCC-demanded GHG emissions reductions and advocated for a “technology-neutral” approach to climate policy. In December 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported on General Electric's opposition to the pay-for provisions in the U.S. Build Back Better Act. More positively, in an April 2022 comment to the EPA, GE stated support for net-zero CO2 emissions from the US aviation industry by 2050. The company has also consistently supported the Paris Agreement, including in a C2ES joint letter urging US re-entry to the Agreement in January 2021.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: General Electric appears to have mixed and limited engagement with specific climate policies from 2019-22. The company signed a C2ES joint letter in July 2022, advocating for policy makers to enact the climate provisions of the reconciliation bill. In a 2020 consultation response, General Electric advocated to the US House Committee on Transport and Infrastructure to certify the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) global CO2 standard for aircraft into US law, while supporting the policy at a global level. However, this support in the US was qualified by major exceptions, including urging the US government not to introduce a more ambitious CO2 standard than that set by ICAO. In its 2020 Sustainability Report released July 2021, GE overviewed global GHG emissions reduction targets for aviation, including “more ambitious” targets in the EU, without stating a position or detailing any engagement.

Previously, in a 2019 comment to the US Department of Energy, GE Lighting supported proposals to weaken US energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs, arguing that “no evidence indicates that a new standard could be economically or technically justified.” However, a 2020 proxy statement to investors suggested support for a 40% renewable energy target in Victoria state, Australia. Beyond this, InfluenceMap has not found significant evidence of GE’s positions on and engagement with specific climate policy, with the company providing limited transparency in its corporate reports and 2021 CDP response.

Positioning on Energy Transition: GE uploaded a two-page document in May 2022 in which it details support for government policy, particularly tax credits, to encourage further integration of renewables in the energy mix. In December 2020, it released a “Future of Energy” White Paper that continued to promote fossil gas as a long-term climate solution in the energy mix, alongside renewables, without including clear conditions on the deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies or methane abatement measures. Furthermore, the report appeared to support the expanded use of fossil-fuel derived, as well as green, hydrogen in the energy mix.

GE has a mixed but improving position on the role of coal in the energy mix. Reports suggested that GE publicly exited the new build coal market in 2020, and as of February 2022, a statement on GE’s website promoting “the need for new but improved coal power plants” has been removed. Previously, GE’s 2020 White Paper focused on the benefits of coal to gas and renewables switching over coal power itself, and in 2018-19, General Electric consistently promoted the need for new or additional global thermal coal capacity.

In October 2020, GE also advocated to global policymakers to support the transition to sustainable aviation fuel and in September 2020 stated support for the decarbonization of aviation. GE also stressed the important role of nuclear energy in the energy mix as reported by Reuters in January 2021.

Industry Association Governance: In its 2021 Sustainability report, GE provided a complete disclosure of the trade associations it is a member of, as well as details regarding alignment with different policies. The company is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers and American Petroleum Institute, both of which are actively, negatively lobbying on US climate policy. It is also a member of WindEurope, where a senior executive from subsidiary GE Renewable Energy serves on the Board, as well as the American Clean Power Association, where a senior representative serves on the Board. As of February 2022, GE appears to have exited several groups actively opposed to climate policy such as the World Coal Association.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
21NANSNS2NS
02NS211NS
010-1010
111NS02NS
1NA-1NANANANS
NS1NSNSNSNSNS
NS1NSNSNSNSNS
NS1NS-2-1NSNS
11NS0211
-1000-100
020-10NSNS
1NS-1NANANANS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNS
Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
51%
 
51%
 
91%
 
91%
 
25%
 
25%
 
85%
 
85%
 
42%
 
42%
 
52%
 
52%
 
29%
 
29%
 
46%
 
46%
 
54%
 
54%
 
57%
 
57%
 
29%
 
29%
 
87%
 
87%
 
67%
 
67%
 
40%
 
40%

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.