President Trump has threatened to pull the plug on US involvement of the Paris Agreement ahead of the G7 Summit in Italy later this month, spurring major companies to speak out in support of continued climate change efforts.
Just weeks after 13 Fortune 500 companies sent a letter to the President urging the administration to make good on its Paris commitments, companies such as Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, National Grid, PG&E Corporation and Unilever — amongst others — published a similar letter in full-page newspaper ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and New York Post. The full letter is available here.
“By expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, the agreement generates jobs and economic growth,” the letter says. “U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets. Withdrawing from the agreement will limit our access to them and could expose us to retaliatory measures.”
The involved companies are among the top U.S. tech, power, retail, health, consumer goods, manufacturing and financial services companies, with a combined market capitalization of over $3.2 trillion.
The full-page ad is part of a six-figure ad campaign this week in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and New York Post. The campaign is sponsored by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), in cooperation with the sustainability nonprofit Ceres.
The co-authors say the Paris Agreement strengthens competitiveness by ensuring a more balanced global climate effort and will reduce future climate impacts, including damage to business facilities and operations, declining agricultural productivity and water supplies and disruption of global supply chains.
Even fossil fuel giants including Shell and ExxonMobil are expressing support for the Paris agreement in the lead up to the administration's decision, with the latter calling it “an effective framework for addressing climate change.” Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, now US secretary of state, is widely reported to be among those pushing for the US to stick with the agreement.
“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. interests by remaining a full partner in this vital global effort,” the letter says.
Meanwhile, more than 215 global investors, collectively managing more than $15 trillion in assets, sent a letter of their own today to President Trump and other G20 leaders, urging them to support and swiftly implement the climate accord.
Global pension funds and asset managers are concerned about the potential for massive losses if governments have inconsistent policies on climate change. In the letter, the coalition of over 200 institutional investors - which includes Aviva Investors, CalPERS, HSBC, Green Century Capital Management and Trillium Asset Management – asserts that “mitigation of climate change is essential for the safeguarding of our investments.”
Steve Waygood, Aviva’s chief responsible investment officer, said: “We need global statesmen and -women to continue to look forward to a carbon neutral economy, not back to a fossil fuel past. Any backsliding by President Trump will be a financial and economic loss for us all, not just the US economy. Unravelling [the] Paris [agreement] would also be a disaster for future generations.”