AES Corporation

InfluenceMap Score
B-
Performance Band
66%
Organisation Score
80%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
Arlington, United States
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: The AES Corporation (AES) appears to be engaging on climate policy with mixed positions in the U.S. and other countries in which it operates. Although the company demonstrates positive top-line messaging on climate policy and supports some specific federal policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act’s solar tax credits, it appears to be promoting the long-term role of fossil gas across several regions.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: AES demonstrates positive top-line messaging on climate policy. In a May 2022 interview with Axios, CEO Andrés Gluski appeared to support a government response to climate change by stating that “long-term policy certainty” was needed to accelerate investment in clean energy. The company has also stated support for a zero-emissions economy by 2050 and a price on carbon in its March 2021 Climate Scenario Report. In April 2021, AES joined the We Mean Business Coalition in advocating for an ambitious U.S. Nationally Determined Contribution to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: AES appears to engage with mixed positions on federal and state-level climate policies in the U.S. The utility has advocated for the clean energy tax credits in the federal reconciliation bill, including in a July 2022 joint letter to Congressional leadership organized by the Solar Energy Industries Association as well as a January 2022 open letter organized by the American Clean Power Association. Following the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the Washington Post reported statements from AES in which the company appeared to support passing the legislation’s solar energy tax credits. Regarding federal GHG emissions standards, AES has demonstrated a variety of positions in joint comments with the Class of ‘85 Regulatory Response Group to the Environmental Protection Agency: in January 2022, AES joined the Group in advocating against updates to methane emissions standards, while previously supporting the reinstatement of the California Clean Air Act waiver in July 2021. Previously, AES had also joined the Group in opposing the Clean Power Plan in February 2018.

AES similarly demonstrates mixed positions on state-level climate policies. In Ohio, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported in August 2021 on the company’s support for Ohio House Bill 389, which would incentivize utilities to develop energy efficiency programs. Previously, although subsidiary Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) had advocated in April 2019 against eliminating the energy efficiency programs as proposed in Ohio House Bill 6, the Dayton Daily News reported in May 2019 that the utility had reversed its position on the bill after policymakers added coal plant subsidies to the legislation. In Hawaii, AES submitted written testimony in November 2021 as well as February 2022 in support of legislation that would incentivize renewable energy projects.

Positioning on Energy Transition: AES appears to have inconsistent positions on the energy transition across the regions it operates, supporting ambitious decarbonization plans in some states while pushing for a prolonged role for fossil fuels including coal and fossil gas in other geographies. On its corporate website accessed August 2022, the company promotes fossil gas in the Caribbean, Central America, and Southern America by stating support for transitioning from oil to liquified natural gas (LNG) on the basis that LNG is “cleaner-burning” without setting clear conditions on the deployment of CCS or methane abatement measures. Similarly, in its 2021 climate report, AES promotes a transition pathway from coal and oil to fossil gas in Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. This push for fossil fuels in other countries contrasts with a recent statement by subsidiary AES Clean Energy President Leonardo Moreno, who in response to the crisis in Ukraine told Axios in June 2022 that renewable energy is critical to “achieving energy independence in the U.S.”

On its corporate website, accessed August 2022, AES supports New York state’s target to achieve 70% clean energy resources by 2030 and reportedly stated support for the state’s draft climate plan during a Climate Action Council public hearing in May 2022. However, although AES has published statements on its corporate website that appear to support Hawaii’s target to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2045, in January 2019 subsidiary AES Hawaii directly advocated to policymakers to oppose Hawaii House Bill 563, which would prohibit the approval of a contract for coal-sourced electricity after 2022. AES has also actively engaged to protect the role of coal in Ohio: in October 2021 and June 2021 testimonies to oppose Ohio House Bill 351 and Senate Bill 117, respectively, subsidiary AES Ohio advocated to preserve the coal plant subsidies authorized by House Bill 6; AES had previously supported HB 6 in May 2019 after lawmakers added subsidies to protect the company’s coal plants.

Industry Association Governance: AES published a trade associations review in December 2021 that includes some details on the company’s role within each organization, however it does not disclose the associations’ engagement on specific climate policies aside from alignment with the Paris Agreement. AES Corporation is a member of the Edison Electric Institute and Business Roundtable, both of which have offered mixed support for U.S. climate policy, including for the climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act. More recently, the Business Roundtable advocated against the Inflation Reduction Act.

A detailed assessment of the company's corporate review on climate policy engagement can be found on InfluenceMap's CA100+ Investor Hub here.

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
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
91%
 
91%
 
91%
 
91%
 
83%
 
83%
 
52%
 
52%
 
95%
 
95%
 
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.