US President Donald Trump has withdrawn US support for the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
US Businesses Angry About Trump Climate Deal Decision
While the coal industry is happy about the decision by Mr. Trump to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, most big businesses in the US have been critical of the decision.
Following the move by Mr. Trump, Walt Disney chief executive Robert Iger and Tesla boss Elon Musk resigned from their position as White House advisers.
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook said the decision to pull out was “bad for the environment, bad for the economy and it puts our children’s future at risk.”
Meanwhile, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said the decision was short sighted and a move backwards.
President Trump has said the move is good for the US economy but businesses are opposed to this argument.
Even before the Paris deal was signed, many of the largest companies in the world had already begun addressing the impact they were having on the environment and taking steps to tackle climate change.
In the wake of the announcement, big firms asserted that they would continue with efforts to protect the environment regardless of the US’s official take on the Paris agreement.
Mr. Zuckerberg said Facebook would go on with plans to power its new data centers using renewable energy. Amazon also emphasized that it was committed to using innovation in ways that protect the environment.
Google chief, Sundar Pichai expressed disappointment at the decision to withdraw and went on to emphasize that his firm would continue to work toward a cleaner future for all.
Energy companies, which for a long time have largely depended on fossil fuel and oil have been investing hundreds of billions of dollars into research and development to discover cleaner sources of energy.
US energy giants Chevron and ExxoMobil had encouraged Mr. Trump to uphold the Paris agreement.
In the past, fossil fuels including gas, oil and coal were cheaper but today, the cost of harnessing renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro and solar had fallen drastically over the last decade.
Although these sources still receive massive government subsidies, some findings indicate that renewable energy can be cheaper than grid electricity and aid in cost savings, a prospect that is appealing to businesses.
US retail giant, Wal Mart says it saves up to $1bn a year by powering a quarter of its energy needs using renewable resources.
Former US President Barack Obama responded to Mr. Trump’s decision saying, “Simply put, the private sector already chose a low carbon future.”
He added, “The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that benefit in jobs and industries created.”