Paris climate deal: US firms criticise Trump move

June 2, 2017
Source: BBC
Paris climate deal: US firms criticise Trump move

Some of the biggest firms in the US have reacted with dismay to President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate deal.

General Electric, Facebook, Goldman Sachs and Walt Disney were among corporate giants to condemn the move.

Critics say the withdrawal, part of Mr Trump's "America first" policy, will hurt US companies' ability to work abroad and inhibit innovation.

US coal firms welcomed the move, saying it would save jobs and ease regulation.

The Dow Jones share index closed up 0.6% following the widely expected announcement.

'Not good'

Before Mr Trump confirmed he would go ahead with his campaign pledge to withdraw, a slew of major companies issued statements urging him to remain in the deal.

After the announcement, they expressed disappointment.

"Climate change is real," tweeted Jeff Immelt, chief executive of GE. "Industry must now lead and not depend on government."

Tesla boss Elon Musk confirmed he would quit two seats on White House advisory groups.

He wrote on Twitter "Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world."

Walt Disney chief executive Robert Iger said he too would quit an advisory role, while Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein used his first ever tweet to condemn the move.

Other big firms, including Morgan Stanley, PepsiCo and Walmart, and major tech firms such as Apple and Google, issued statements on Thursday with several reaffirming their own commitments to protect the environment.

Apple boss Tim Cook told the Financial Times: "I spoke with President Trump on Tuesday and tried to persuade him to keep the US in the agreement. But it wasn't enough.

"I want to reassure you that today's developments will have no impact on Apple's efforts to protect the environment."

'They went wild'

Under the deal, the US, which accounts for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emission, had committed to a 26% to 28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2025.

The US also promised $3bn in aid to a United Nations fund to help poorer countries to tackle climate change problems.