On Thursday we brought news of Trump declaring he intends to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and the swift response from state and local governments opposing the move. Since then, more governments, businesses and universities have voiced their displeasure at this poor decision, and today an assortment of 1,219 of these entities released an open letter declaring their continued support for the Paris Agreement, posted at the website: wearestillin.com…
The open letter has been signed by governments representing 120 million Americans and $6.2 trillion worth of the US economy. The businesses combined represent $1.4 trillion in annual revenue, including 20 Fortune 500 companies.
The unique aspect of this coalition is that it brings together bipartisan state and local governments, businesses, investors and college and university leaders all into one voice, which helps to put an end to two talking points in particular which are often advanced by polluting industry: that climate science is politically motivated; and that being sensitive to the environment is too costly for the US economy.
As for the first talking point, those associated with polluting industries often like to claim that climate science is politically, not scientifically, motivated, despite that the vast majority of peer-reviewed science points to the conclusion that global warming is real, manmade, and urgent, and the few dissenting voices often have ties to polluting industries.
But mayors and governors from both parties have signed onto the letter, and Americans across the political spectrum support staying in the Agreement by a large margin. So it is clear that this is not a political move, but one which cuts across the political spectrum.
In the second talking point, polluters often advance the idea that the business community is unified in their opposition to pro-environment measures, and that these measures would harm the US economy. They say this even though a recent report claims that world economies, including the US, stand to gain a lot from the implementation of the Agreement.
The 902 businesses and investors who have joined in this coalition show that that industry talking point, too, is not accurate. The businesses signing the letter include large, well-known businesses from across many industries. For example: Apple, Levi Strauss, Allianz, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Lyft, L’Oreal and Pacific Gas & Electric, all from vastly different business sectors, have allied together in signing on to this letter, along with hundreds of other businesses of all sizes. A full list is available on the site, along with quotes from many business leaders.
Even with such a large list, this is just one of many efforts to rebuke Mr Trump’s decision. While 9 states have so far signed the “We Are Still In” letter, 12 states and Puerto Rico have joined the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance (with 4 new members joining just today), 17 governors have released individual statements supporting the Paris Agreement, and 211 climate mayors (up from 68 on Thursday) have voiced their support.
It’s clear that America still supports the Paris Agreement. We can only hope that the international community will hear our hundreds of millions of voices of support, rather than one loud voice, that of Mr. Trump, who wants to tear up an Agreement he doesn’t seem to understand simply because 22 Senators bought by the oil industry urged him to.
The coalition hasn’t finished being formed yet, and the list can be expected to grow. This only represents a few days worth of effort so far, and the coalition is asking more entities to sign on. Companies, investors, mayors and governors wishing to add their name to the statement can do so by registering here. Colleges and universities wishing to add their name can do so by registering here.