Business leaders expressed disappointment and criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. IBM, ExxonMobil, and Amazon support the accord, and both Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger said they will leave Mr. Trump’s economic advisory council because of the decision.
Leaders within their respective industries in one last ditch to convince Trump to honor the Paris climate agreement warned that that pulling out of the accord would negatively impact jobs and investments.
Business leaders also raised concerns about the impact on markets for products that can help cut greenhouse gas emissions. A primary concern by leaders—countries remaining in the accord could impose retaliatory tariffs on American goods.
The opinions of leaders of large U.S. Corporation’s contrasts with Trump’s statements saying the agreement’s restrictions would hurt American jobs and businesses.
“The bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” according to Trump, adding later, “I promised I would exit or renegotiate any deal which fails to serve America’s interests.”
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord prompted business leaders to forge ahead with investments in emissions-reducing technologies. Some were saying they foresee a steady growth in demand despite the current White House administration’s lack of support.
Leading U.S. companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Intel placed an advertisement in US newspapers on Thursday with an open letter to President Trump urging him to remain in the Paris agreement.
Leaders at the major companies outlined reasons for urging Trump to honor the Paris agreement, which they said helped to generate jobs and economic growth by expanding the markets for innovative environmentally friendly technologies.
The business leaders warned that Trump’s withdrawal created limited US access to designated markets. Stephen Harper, global director of environment and energy policy at Intel, said:
“We operate in a global economy, and if we’re not part of the global agreement on climate we are susceptible to retaliation through border taxes and other measures.”
David MacLennan, chief executive of Minnesota-based Cargill, the world’s leading agricultural commodities trader, said:
“Signing the accord means being a champion for US economic growth and job creation.” “The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement according to MacLennan would negatively impact trade, economic vitality, the state of our environment and relationships among the world community.”
Elon Musk, chief executive of electric car, batteries and solar power group Tesla, tweeted on Wednesday that he would “have no choice” but to quit his role in two advisory councils to Mr. Trump if the president were to pull the US out of the agreement.
Calls from other leading American companies including General Electric and ExxonMobile urged Trump to keep the U.S. in the accord.
Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, contacted Trump on Tuesday with the goal of persuading him not to abandon the agreement.
The issue of climate change and the Paris Accord agreement have divided some American businesses. The National Mining Association — whose members include coal producers Arch Coal and Peabody Energy, and the equipment manufacturers Caterpillar and Komatsu — wrote to President Trump last month to confirm their support for withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris accord.
Hal Quinn, the NMA’s president, wrote that the U.S. supported innovation, job growth, and environmental responsibility, “but we cannot do so within the boundaries of an agreement that puts American interests behind the interests of others, harming US jobs and the economy.
Business and World Leaders Reaction
Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla:
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs:
Today's decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.'s leadership position in the world. #ParisAgreement
— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) June 1, 2017
Jeff Immelt, chief executive of GE:
Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.
— Jeff Immelt (@JeffImmelt) June 1, 2017
Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce:
Deeply disappointed by President's decision to withdraw from ParisAgreement. We will double our efforts to fight climate change.
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) June 1, 2017
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google:
Disappointed with today’s decision. Google will keep working hard for a cleaner, more prosperous future for all.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) June 1, 2017
John Kerry, former US secretary of state: “The president was not truthful with the American people today, and the president who talked about putting America first has now put America last . . . He’s made us an environmental pariah in the world, and I think it is one of the most self-destructive moves I have ever seen by any president in my lifetime.”
Joint statements from Emmanuel Macron, president of France, Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, and Paolo Gentiloni, Italian prime minister:
“We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies, and economies.”
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 1, 2017
Theresa May, UK prime minister: (via a Downing Street statement) “President Trump called the Prime Minister this evening to discuss his decision . . . The Prime Minister expressed her disappointment with the decision and stressed that the UK remained committed to the Paris Agreement, as she set out recently at the G7. She said that the Paris Agreement provides the right global framework for protecting the prosperity and security of future generations while keeping energy affordable and secure for our citizens and businesses.”
Enrique Peña Nieto, president of Mexico:
México mantiene su respaldo y compromiso con el Acuerdo de París para detener los efectos del cambio climático global.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) June 1, 2017
(Translated from Spanish): Mexico maintains its support and commitment to the Paris agreement to stop the effects of global climate change.
Cory Booker, the Democratic senator from New Jersey:
Today isn't an end of US leadership on global climate issues; instead it is a rallying cry for us to double down in this urgent fight.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 1, 2017
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook:
“Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and it puts our children’s future at risk . . . Stopping climate change is something we can only do as a global community, and we have to act together before it’s too late.”
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