31 May 2017

Pulling Out of Paris Agreement is Bad for Business

Should we stay or should we go?

President Trump is following the advice of entrenched, vested old-economy interests that would turn our backs on a bright economic future. If his vision to make America great again requires further dependence upon fossil fuels like coal and oil, then we are headed back into the Dark Ages. 

The Paris Agreement isn't a lock on the bridge.
It is the bridge.

Explain to me how ceding the economic prosperity represented by energy innovation, and climate mitigation and adaptation to China and India makes us great? 

Leaving the Paris Agreement throws our climate and future economic success under a bus. In doing so, Trump ignores the pleas of his Secretary of State, his daughter, several conservative Republicans, and many of the most successful high-growth company leaders in the US. This isn't just sad, it's a bad decision.

Staying in the Paris Agreement is good for business, as CEOs of 30 companies with major operations in the United States, including Dow Chemical, Proctor & Gamble, Goldman Sachs, and Coca-Cola (not exactly greenies!) argued in a 10 May letter to the President. 

Why? Because, as an ad that ran in major U.S. newspapers, including the New York Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere, which was signed by technology giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, Gap, HP, along with energy and utility powerhouses National Grid, PG&E, and Schneider Electric, explained, the Paris Agreement spurs economic growth in the United States by strengthening competitiveness, creating jobs and markets, and reducing business risks.

When even ExxonMobil (and its former CEO, Rex Tillerson, now Secretary of State) supports the Paris Agreement and believes the oil company "has a constructive role to play in developing solutions," it's hard to understand what is motivating the President to pull out at this stage.

The Paris Agreement provides a level playing field for all countries -- except Nicaragua and Syria, which are the only two countries refusing to sign (great company, huh?), provides certainty for businesses and investors, which in turn allows for long-term planning and investment, and encourages market-based solutions and innovations that can benefit our economy, build a new manufacturing base, and create a future-focused industry.

Pulling out of the Paris Agreement is bad for business, bad for the planet, and a bad deal.