As the White House weighs pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, environmental activists find a growing team of unlikely allies among America’s most powerful corporations.
Twenty-five large companies across industries—including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Facebook Inc. (FB), Unilever (UL), Alphabet Inc. (GOOG), PG&E Corp. (PCG) and Levi Strauss & Co.—have signed a letter that will appear in full-page ads in the Thursday editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, urging President Donald Trump not to exit the Paris climate accord.
Dear President Trump, as some of the largest companies in the US, we strongly urge you to keep the US in the Paris Agreement. pic.twitter.com/ztSXyYtRrm
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) June 1, 2017
Corporations Band Together
The Paris accord, also known as COP21, pulls together support from 195 countries, with just Nicaragua and Syria as two largest holdouts—till now. Axios was the first to report that President Trump is expected to pull the U.S. out of the global climate deal, as promised on the campaign trail and teased in a recent tweet.
Just last week, a senior adviser at the G-7 summit said that Trump’s position on climate change had been evolving. The president has made wildly controversial statements in the face of a broad scientific consensus that climate change is one of the planet's most dire threats. He has gone as far as to call global warming a "hoax" made up by the Chinese in an effort to make U.S. manufacturers less competitive.
Support From Big Oil
The CEO's letter, which highlights the accord’s “stable and practical framework” that will generate jobs and limit “competitive imbalances,” comes as a wave of companies, including some of the world’s largest oil companies, lobby aggressively in favor of the deal. A TV advertisement debuted this week that includes calls from almost a dozen U.S. CEOs backing the climate pact.
ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) CEO Darren Woods wrote a personal letter to Trump earlier this month, stating that the U.S. is well positioned to compete with the agreement in place as it means a seat at the negotiating table to ensure a level playing field. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), has threatened to leave Trump’s business councils and advisory boards over the issue.
Richard Haass, president of the Council of Foreign Relations for more than a decade, responded on Twitter indicating that taking the U.S. out of the Paris pact is unwarranted and unwise as it signals the country is “no longer ready to lead.”