Many U.S. companies, including those from the oil industry, see the step as regressive.
American companies seem to disagree with U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord, which can stave off an economic crisis and protect American jobs.
Blue chip companies including, Ford Motor Co, Apple, Microsoft Corp, and Facebook Inc have criticised the move while response from fossil fuel groups, who are set to gain the relaxation from U.S. carbon emissions standards, has been muted.
As a fallout of Trump’s decision, Elon Musk, Tesla Inc’s Chief Executive and Robert Iger, Walt Disney Co’s CEO have stated they will no longer be associated with the White House’s advisory council.
Even Benjamin Sporton, the president of the World Coal Association, in an interview to Reuters stated he had mixed feelings about the decision.
“What we really need to see, if the president wants to re-enter the deal, is that he can change the agreement to recognize the role of all sources of energy, including coal,” said Sporton, adding his group had described to administration officials the benefits of remaining in the agreement.
The American Petroleum Institute has also steered clear of the decision saying it had never taken an official position on the Paris accord.
In fact a number of oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp and ConocoPhillips, have publicly supported the historic 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
“For us, our position on the Paris agreement… we need a framework like that to address the risks of climate change,” said Darren Woods, Exxon Mobil’s CEO to reporters on the sidelines of the company’s AGM on Wednesday.
However some groups have expressed support to Trump’s decision, saying it provides an opportunity to fix problems with the deal.
“Manufacturers support the spirit of the Paris Agreement and the effort to address climate change through a fair international agreement. But as the president has acknowledged, certain elements of this deal were not equitable for U.S. manufacturers,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president for energy and resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.
A large number of business leaders derided, in forceful terms, Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the deal.
“Today’s decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world,” said Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs’ CEO in his first-ever tweet.
“Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government,” tweeted Jeff Immelt of General Electric Co.
“Decision to withdraw from the #ParisAgreeement was wrong for our planet” and “Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waver” tweeted Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.
“Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and it puts our children’s future at risk,” wrote Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook wall.