Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Companies to Trump: Don’t Abandon Global Climate Deal

Hundreds of American companies, including Mars, Nike, Levi Strauss and Starbucks, have urged President-elect Donald J. Trump not to abandon the Paris climate deal, saying a failure by the United States to build a clean economy endangers American prosperity.
Hiroko Tabuchi reports in The New York Times:
In a plea addressed to Mr. Trump — as well as President Obama and members of Congress — 365 companies and major investors emphasized their “deep commitment to addressing climate change,” and demanded that he leave in place low-emissions policies in the United States.
“Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk,” the companies said in a joint letter announced on Wednesday in Marrakesh, Morocco, where global leaders are determining the next steps for the Paris deal. “But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness.”
The companies also said that they would push ahead with their own targets to reduce their carbon footprints regardless of steps taken by Mr. Trump once he is in office. During his campaign, Mr. Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, pledged to leave the Paris accord, dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and undo Mr. Obama’s climate change policies.
“This doesn’t change our commitments,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, global sustainability director at Mars, which has pledged to eliminate 100 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions from its factories and offices by 2040. “We’re doing this because we see a real business risk. We see a real business problem.”
Businesses large and small have scrambled in the days since Mr. Trump’s victory to chart their next moves in an uncertain regulatory situation. Mr. Trump’s campaign pledges and musings have been driven by the belief that the economy will grow faster if businesses are freed from cumbersome federal regulations, especially those that limit carbon emissions.
The president-elect has heightened environmentalists’ fears that his administration will take on an anti-climate, anti-environment bent by appointing the climate contrarian Myron Ebell to lead the E.P.A. transition. Climate change activists have denounced Mr. Ebell, whose Competitive Enterprise Institute has received funding from oil and gas interest groups.
Some corporations, like the country’s largest automakers, have already seized on a potential upside to the president-elect’s leanings, urging a rethinking of stringent federal auto emissions standards. An easing of federal standards for passenger cars, which together with the rest of the transportation sector emit more carbon dioxide than any other part of the American economy, could have immense implications for overall emissions.
Others, like solar and wind power companies, have raced to find common ground with Mr. Trump, pressing for reassurances that his administration will not slash investment in renewable energy or alter federal tax credits on renewable energy projects.
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