US Firms Urge Trump to Uphold Paris Accord

12.01.2017 -

More than 350 companies headquartered or with operations in the US, including such diverse enterprises as Monsanto, Genentech, Unilever, L’Oreal USA and the Merck Family Fund established by a former president of Merck & Co, have signed a petition calling on President-Elect Donald Trump and the US Congress to uphold the US commitment to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. This, they said, would give financial decision-makers clarity and boost the confidence of investors worldwide.

“We, the undersigned members in the business and investor community of the United States re-affirm our deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement,” the petition opens. “We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy. Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives.”

The companies pledge “to do our part, in our own operations and beyond, to realize the Paris Agreement’s commitment of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below 2°Celsius.” They also urge the country’s elected leaders to “strongly support” continuation of low-carbon policies to allow the US to meet or exceed its promised commitment. “Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk,” the petitioners assert, while “the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness.”

“Implementing the Paris Agreement will enable and encourage businesses and investors to turn the billions of dollars in existing low-carbon investments into the trillions of dollars the world needs to bring clean energy and prosperity to all,” the petition concludes.

During the election campaign, Trump dismissed the concept of manmade global warming as a hoax and threatened to overturn the Obama administration’s clean air legislation, as well as withdrawing the US signature from the Paris accord. His choices for cabinet positions include climate change skeptics such as Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His nomination for Secretary of State is Rex Tillerson, former chairman and CEO of as ExxonMobil – a company with a reputation for being a denier of climate science – and the choice for Energy Secretary is former Texas governor Rick Perry, who has been critical of all government regulation of the oil and gas industry.