General Electric to Pursue Exit from New Coal

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA—SEPT. 21, 2020—General Electric today announced an intent to exit the new build coal power market. The company, while gaining increasing positive attention for developments in wind turbines and other renewable technologies, has been criticized for continuing to promote high-carbon projects globally.

Last year, As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution focusing on GE’s pursuit of new fossil fuel projects across the globe at a time when nations are striving to meet Paris Climate Agreement goals. The resolution was withdrawn after the company agreed to evaluate product emissions and set new greenhouse gas emission targets. Prior, in 2018, As You Sow raised similar concerns in an investor letter to GE regarding its plans to construct a new coal plant in Kenya in spite of strong opposition. Working with the Climate Action 100+ investor initiative, As You Sow has continued to urge the company to increase its climate ambitions and disclose how it will align its business model with the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals.

Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, made the following statement:

“We are pleased that GE has signaled meaningful change to its business by moving away from high-carbon technologies like coal projects. This important announcement recognizes the fundamental truth that the world is transitioning away from high-carbon coal. We hope to see GE continue to evaluate how it can evolve and better position itself and the companies it works with to thrive in the low-carbon energy transition.”

Lila Holzman, energy program manager of As You Sow, made the following statement:

“GE’s announcement marks an important shift for the company. GE has a significant role to play in facilitating a rapid transition to zero-emission energy technologies. We look forward to seeing the company increase its climate ambitions by setting targets that ensure vital climate goals are met by midcentury.”