Top brands continue to make their voices heard in the days leading up to the G7 Summit in Italy, with the release of yet another letter urging President Trump and the administration to deliver on its climate commitments.
Penned by 30 chief executives from major US companies such as Coca-Cola, The Dow Chemical Company, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Tesla, Unilever, Virgin and The Walt Disney Company, the letter expresses strong support for continued US involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement and calls on the White House to “maintain the US’s status as the world’s biggest champion of economic growth and innovation.”
The letter comes in response to President Trump’s previous threats to pull out of the climate deal and follows two other letters written by 13 Fortune 500 companies and over 200 major investors touching on the same topic.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s involvement in the letter is of particular interest considering his position in President Trump’s economic advisory council. Musk has previously come under fire for his collaboration with the new administration but has repeatedly defended his position, saying that his role presents an opportunity to influence the president on issues such as climate change. Musk publicly opposed the highly contested travel ban back in January, and this most recent move could provide further evidence of the CEO sticking to his word — potentially helping him regain some of the public confidence he has lost since his appointment.
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“Based on our experience of doing business all over the world, we believe there is strong potential for negative trade implications if the US exits from the Paris Agreement,” the letter says.
“Our business interests are best served by a stable and practical framework facilitating an effective and balanced response to reducing GHG emissions. The Paris Agreement gives us that flexible framework to manage climate change while providing a smooth transition for business.”
The letter goes on to highlight how the Paris Agreement benefits American companies, suppliers, customers and communities by:
- Strengthening competitiveness in global markets
- Benefiting American manufacturing in the midst of a move towards more efficient technologies
- Supporting investment by setting clear goals which enable long-term planning
- Expanding global and domestic markets for clean, energy-efficient technologies that contribute to economic growth
- Encouraging market-based solutions and innovation to reduce emissions at low cost
The approach is designed to appeal to Trump’s focus on economic growth and job creation, steering focus away from a stagnating fossil fuel industry and redirecting it towards the potential presented by a low-carbon market.
While the new administration may be hesitant to take up the banner for a 2° C future (if not decisively refusing to do so), it is becoming increasingly clear that the private sector and its key players will likely be the ones to lead the transition towards a low-carbon future.