Top US firms oppose Trump on climate change
04 December 2017 | Adaptation
Since taking office, Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, rolled back numerous protections against environmental pollution and espoused coal as the fuel of the future, all in the name of job creation and ending what he sees as the “theft of American prosperity”.
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Yet the big businesses he claims to champion are increasingly choosing to ignore the US president’s sceptical stance on climate change and press ahead towards their own environmental goals without him.
Several of the country’s corporate giants, appeared this week at the second annual Companies v Climate Change conference in Miami to showcase their progress and reinforce their belief that sustainability and other green targets can be achieved irrespective of the policies and purpose of the White House.
Other companies at the conference in Miami – a poignant venue following flooding from Hurricane Irma in September and the threat of obliteration from sea-level rise within the next century – touted their own achievements in defiance of Trump’s climate stance.
For Jason Youner, chief executive and founder of Companies v Climate Change, it is further proof that green-thinking American businesses are filling the environmental void created by the Trump administration’s cynicism.
“The corporate sector is not paying heed to the president’s agenda. They’re making all kinds of commitments and they’re putting all kinds of policies in place and changing the way they operate and do business and making a lot of improvements,” he said.
“The message is one of optimism and hope. The president can only do so much, he’s full of bluster and likes to talk a lot and kind of exaggerates his influence. The companies are seeing they can take the lead and influence what happens on the ground, so there’s hope and optimism. Companies around the world are moving forward and not letting this one rogue administration hold them back.”
Still more can be done by the corporate world, some conference attendees believe. Nicole Labutong, technical manager at CDP, a disclosure and advisory group for businesses, pointed out that only 325 companies from tens of thousands with stated environmental goals had set science-based targets.
“Science is true whether you believe it or not. It’s up to non-state actors to do their part, say you’re ‘still in’ and make up for governments that might not believe in science,” she said.
Source: The Guardian