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Corporate Heavyweights Throw Their Weight Behind The Paris Agreement On Climate Change

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Corporate Heavyweights Throw Their Weight Behind The Paris Agreement On Climate Change

With the possibility of the U.S exiting from the Paris Climate accord now looking a certainty, several quarters have begun voicing their opinions against an exit. This includes key executives of blue chip firms, who are frantically reaching out to President Donald Trump, urging him to stay on as a signatory of the agreement.

A potential exit by the U.S., the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is seen as a catastrophe for the agreement as such.

What Is The Accord About?

The 2015 climate change accord was an agreement among 195 nations signed in December 2015 to combat climate change and initiate actions and investment toward a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future.

The main aim of the accord is to keep the increase in global temperature below 2 degree Celsius and to take efforts to curb the temperature increase to a 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Why Is Trump Opposed To The Treaty?

The Paris climate accord was adopted by the U.S. after former President Barack Obama used the executive power of the president to ratify it. Thus, the accord was not required to be vetted by the Republican-controlled Congress.

Now, there have been several dissenting voices. A recent letter signed by 22 Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had called for the U.S. exiting the treaty. Trump had doled out an election promise to quit the accord within 100 days in office, as he saw it as a first step toward propping up the sagging fortunes of the domestic oil and coal industries.

Resolute Trump

Although there have been whispers from the White House that Trump might change his decision, the president hinted he might go for the kill, come what may. In a tweet, the president said he would announce his decision on the Paris Accord Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, which was accompanied by his campaign slogan "Make America Great Again."

According to a New York Times article, the White House Legislative Affairs office suggested that the accord might be send to the Senate for ratification. With a decision needing two-thirds majority, the possibility of the U.S. remaining in the accord is bleak.

Corporations At Loggerheads

Meanwhile, several companies have collectively voiced their opinion against an exit. A few of these notables include:

  • salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM).
  • Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF).
  • Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ: ADBE).
  • Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
  • Anthem Inc (NYSE: ANTM)'s Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE: HPE).
  • Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE: IR).
  • Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL).
  • Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB).
  • Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS).
  • Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC).
  • Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE: UL).
  • Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS).
  • Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT).

A signed letter released by salesforce's Marc Benioff in his Twitter handle suggested that, though the accord presented both risks and business opportunities, continued participation in the agreement benefits the U.S. economy and businesses in many ways.

Among the benefits the letter touted were:

  • Strengthening competitiveness by reducing the risk of competitive imbalances for U.S. companies due to uniform actions mandated for both developing and developed nations.
  • Creating jobs, markets and growth by way of the potential the accord offers for clean technologies.
  • Reducing business risks, given the protection, the implementation of the accord will offer for business facilities, operations, agriculture, water supplies, etc.

"As other countries invest in advanced technologies and move forward with the Paris Agreement, we believe the United States can best exercise global leadership and advance U.S. interest by remaining a full partner in this vital global effort," the letter concluded.

With much pressure coming from either side, it remains to be seen which way Trump sways.

Related News:

The Paris Climate Agreement's Most Surprising Defender: Exxon Mobil

Not Even Elon Musk Could Convince Donald Trump To Stay In The Paris Climate Accords
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Image Credit: By Michael Vadon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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