Thirteen Fortune 500 companies have come together to urge the White House to make good on its Paris Agreement climate change commitments. The Agreement has been ratified in 143 countries — including the United States — but the Trump administration could pull out before the G7 Summit in Italy in May.
“Business leaders recognize the costly impacts of climate change and the opportunities for jobs and growth in a clean technology future,” said Bob Perciasepe, President of C2ES.
In a letter to the president organized by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), the 13 companies — BP, DuPont, General Mills, Google, Intel, Microsoft, National Grid, Novartis Corporation, PG&E, Schneider Electric, Shell, Unilever and Walmart — said that continued US participation in the agreement would help them manage increasing climate risks and compete in global clean energy markets.
The signatories are leaders in the retail, tech, power, energy, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and consumer goods sectors in the US, with a combined market capitalization of nearly $2.5 trillion.
“By committing all countries to action, the agreement expands markets for innovative clean technologies, generating jobs and economic growth,” the letter states. “US companies are well positioned to lead and lack of US participation could put their access to these growing markets at risk.”
The companies told the president that US participation helps them compete and plan future investments by ensuring a more balanced global climate effort, setting long-term objectives, improving transparency and encouraging market-based approaches to minimize costs.
The letter also notes that strengthening global action over time will reduce future climate impacts that damage or disrupt business facilities and operations, supply chains, agricultural productivity and water supplies.
“US business interests are best served by a stable and practical framework facilitating an effective and balanced global response,” the letter says. “We believe the Paris Agreement provides such a framework.”
“Corporate leadership was critical to delivering the Paris Agreement, but the agreement will only achieve its full promise if the US stays on board. These companies from across the US economy are laying out the clear business case for doing just that,” Perciasepe added.
This isn’t the first time the major companies have spoken out in support of a sustainable future. In January, more than 530 companies and investors, from Fortune 500 firms to small family-owned businesses, called on the Trump administration to continue supporting policies to accelerate a low-carbon economy to help mitigate climate change. The administration has thus far been quick to dismantle key pieces of legislation and put climate change on the back burner, but businesses across the US aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel just yet. Even if the White House backs out of the Paris Agreement, the strong business case for cutting emissions and improving sustainability performance will continue to drive companies towards more pro-sustainability practices.