After President Donald Trump revealed the United States will leave the Paris Climate Treaty, Elon Musk announced he will be leaving all 3 presidential councils; business, manufacturing jobs and infrastructure, effectively ending his controversial advisory role in the Trump administration . Musk made the departure official in a message via Twitter, “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
Reaction from other business leaders was swift, Robert Iger, Chairman of Disney, also resigned from the White House Advisory Council via Twitter, “As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal.” Tim Cook, Chairman of Apple did not mince words, “Decision to withdraw from the
#ParisAgreeement was wrong for our planet. Apple is committed to fight climate change and we will never waver.”
Surprisingly , oil companies such as Exxon, BP, Chevron and Shell had voiced support for staying in the Climate Treaty. Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Shell, told NPR in an interview, “We believe climate change is real, we believe that the world needs to go through an energy transition to prevent a very significant rise in global temperatures. And we need to be part of that solution in making it happen.”
IBM released a strong statement via a blog post on the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, “IBM has stated its position on climate change publicly since 2007: Climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is an international problem that requires an international solution, and we believe it is important for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore IBM supported — and still supports — U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement. Whether the U.S. participates in the Paris Agreement or not, IBM will continue its decades-long work to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and will continue to help our clients do so as well.”
That last part of the statement from IBM is key – IBM will continue efforts to reduce green house gas emissions, something that many corporations will continue as well. Leaving the Paris treaty will not push companies like; Google, Apple, Tesla, Facebook, Nike, Amazon, Walmart, HP, Fed Ex, McGraw-Hill, Target, Costco, Kohls and Ikea to abandon their wind and solar investments or expansions.
Leaving a climate treaty will not stop the price of renewable’s from falling, it will not stop states from commitments to obtain greater shares of energy from renewable sources. States such as Iowa already get 25% of their power from the wind. In Texas, the heart of oil country and a red state, they produce 20,321 mega watts from the wind. In the wake of the Trump-Paris announcement, California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, is pursuing a partnership with China for clean energy.
The private sector and states have spoken, the sun is still shining, the wind is still blowing and as long as human beings innovate, renewable energy will have a very prosperous future.