General Electric

InfluenceMap Score
D+
Performance Band
58%
Organisation Score
49%
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
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) has a mixed and inconsistent approach to engagement on climate change policy, supporting ambitious climate action in its top line messaging in 2020 while having mixed engagement with specific climate policy, for example on a US CO2 standard for aircraft. General Electric also appears to support a long-term role for natural gas in the energy mix, although the company appears to have an improved position on coal in 2020.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: In 2020-21, General Electric stated support for GHG emissions reductions in line with a 2°C target, the Paris Agreement and the US re-joining the Paris Agreement in 2021. However, in 2020 General Electric emphasizes the need for “realistic times for reduction efforts” over IPCC-demanded GHG emissions reductions and prioritizes a “technology-neutral” regulatory response to climate change.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: General Electric appears to have mixed and limited engagement with specific climate regulations globally in 2018-20. In a 2020 consultation response, General Electric advocated to the US government 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 set by ICAO, greatly reducing its effectiveness.

In a 2019 consultation response, 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”. Furthermore, a 2020 proxy statement to investors from General Electric suggested support for a 40% renewable energy target in Victoria state, Australia. Generally, regarding specific climate regulations, GE provides limited disclosure of its positioning and engagement on climate-related regulations through its website and in its 2020 CDP information request.

Positioning on Energy Transition: In 2020, General Electric continues to promote a major role for natural gas in the energy mix, while evidence suggests an evolving, more position regarding the promotion of new coal plants. In December 2020, GE released a “Future of Energy” White Paper that continued to promote natural 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. In numerous other communications in 2018-20, General Electric promotes the role of natural gas in the energy mix, arguing that in decarbonization, “GE believes gas turbines have a major role to play” alongside renewables.

General Electric has a mixed but improving position on the role of coal in the energy mix. While reports suggest GE publicly exited the new build coal market in 2020, GE’s website in 2020 continues to promote “the need for new but improved coal power plants” while its 2020 White Paper focused on the benefits of coal to gas/renewables switching over coal power itself. Previously in 2018-19, General Electric consistently promoted the need for new or additional global thermal coal capacity.

In 2020, GE has also advocated to global policymakers to support the transition to sustainable aviation fuel and has stated support for the decarbonization of aviation. GE has also stated general support for the energy transition in 2019 and stressed the important role of nuclear energy in the energy mix in 2020.

Industry Association Governance: General Electric has publicly disclosed information on its memberships to industry associations on a dedicated webpage, without providing further details on the company’s role within each association or its influence over their climate positions. General Electric has not published a review of its alignment with its industry associations. General Electric has membership of industry associations with conflicting climate change agendas. This includes the National Association of Manufacturers and American Petroleum Institute which are negatively lobbying climate policy, and those such as WindEurope and American Wind Energy Association which are positively lobbying climate policy. In 2021, General Electric is also still a member of the World Coal Association, which is actively promoting a long-term role for coal in the global energy mix.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures EU Register
Communication of Climate Science
2 2 NA NS NS 1 NS NA
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
0 1 NA -1 1 1 NS NA
Supporting the Need for Regulations
0 0 NA 0 NS 1 0 NA
Support of UN Climate Process
1 2 NA NS 2 2 NS NA
Transparency on Legislation
0 NA -1 NA NA NA NS NA
Carbon Tax
NS 1 1 NS -2 NS NS NA
Emissions Trading
NS 1 1 1 NS NS NS NA
Energy and Resource Efficiency
NS 1 2 -2 -1 NS NS NA
Renewable Energy
1 1 NS 0 1 NS 1 NA
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
-1 0 1 0 0 0 0 NA
GHG Emission Regulation
1 1 0 -1 0 NS NS NA
Disclosure on Relationships
0 NS -1 NA NA NA NS NA
Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
90%
 
90%
 
51%
 
51%
 
93%
 
93%
 
51%
 
51%
 
27%
 
27%
 
41%
 
41%
 
25%
 
25%
 
23%
 
23%
 
39%
 
39%
 
45%
 
45%
 
25%
 
25%
 
22%
 
22%
 
45%
 
45%
 
23%
 
23%
 
50%
 
50%
 
74%
 
74%
 
41%
 
41%
 
60%
 
60%
 
47%
 
47%
 
71%
 
71%
 
35%
 
35%
 
84%
 
84%

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.