WASHINGTON — The U.S. needs to be more like Europe and develop a clear environmental policy on issues such as climate change and use of renewable energy, said General Electric Co. (GE) Chief Executive Jeff Immelt Monday.
He called Europe “the global regulatory superpower” when it comes to environmental policy, noting that Europe is using more wind power now because five years ago it set a clear goal to do just that.
Similar actions need to be taken in the U.S., said Immelt.
“Long-term certainty would help us all make smart decisions,” he said, sitting next to executives from some of GE’s customers, such as American Electric Power (AEP) and Cinergy Corp. (CIN). Immelt and the other executives spoke at a press conference on a new environmental initiative GE unveiled Monday.
This is, I think, one of the dynamic effects of the Kyoto protocol that got short shrift amid discussion of whether the U.S. should adopt limits on carbon emissions and whether Kyoto would actually make a difference. We’re seeing companies pivot and demand climate change action sooner rather than later so that they can plan accordingly. It also helps that GE is in the wind energy business.