GHG Emissions - May 31, 2017 - By Amy Poszywak
As Trump reportedly prepares to ditch Paris accord, corporate giants make furious final plea
Update: President Donald Trump said via Twitter late May 31 that he would announce his decision on the Paris climate agreement at 3 p.m. ET on June 1.
After months of back and forth and speculation from the Beltway and beyond regarding whether or not President Donald Trump will make good on his campaign promise to "cancel" U.S. participation in the Paris climate agreement, a final answer appeared to take shape May 31.
Early in the day, Axios reported that the president had decided to pull out of the agreement, and that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had been tapped to help hammer out the details of an exit. Almost immediately, CEOs from some of the largest corporations including Apple Inc., Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical Co. and Tesla Inc. revved up their vocal opposition to such a decision, according to multiple media outlets. Oil and gas majors, as evidenced by the passage of an Exxon shareholder proposal calling on the company to make climate change-related risk disclosures, are under increasing pressure from investors on the topic.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a longtime supporter of the climate agreement who also serves on Trump's advisory business council, said via Twitter on May 31 that he has "done all I can" to encourage the president to keep the U.S. in the deal, adding that he would "have no choice" but to quit the council if Trump decides to withdraw.
Bloomberg News reported that 25 companies, including Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp. and California-based utility behemoth PG&E Corp. "have signed on to a letter set to run as a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on Thursday arguing in favor of the climate pact, and warning of potential 'retaliatory measures' by other nations." The letter follows an earlier, similar advertisement that ran earlier this month as part of a six-figure ad campaign in the Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Post sponsored by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions in cooperation with nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization Ceres.
According to Ceres, the two dozen companies signing onto the previous letter "are among the top U.S. tech, power, retail, health, consumer goods, manufacturing, and financial services companies," and had a combined market capitalization of more than $3.2 trillion.
Additionally, according to Bloomberg, a television advertisement that began running May 31 reiterates that "America's biggest CEOs," including JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon and General Electric Co.'s Jeffrey Immelt, support the climate accord "because it will benefit American manufacturing and generate jobs."
The White House has not confirmed any official decision on the matter. Trump on May 31 tweeted: "I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
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