President Donald Trump‘s decision on Thursday to abrogate a worldwide agreement to curb carbon emissions was met with disapproval from big businesses, many of which supported the landmark accord.
Fulfilling a campaign promise, Trump announced his decision to exit the Paris Agreement —signed by more than 190 countries a year ago — citing the deal’s effects on American jobs and the economy. As his political supporters applauded his decision, the president stated his intent to negotiate a new pact more favorable to the U.S.
Yet, in a twist of irony, the response to his decision from large corporations, some in sectors ostensibly friendly to Trump’s policy agenda, backed the Paris Agreement and the objective of environmental conservation.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who served on presidential advisory councils, immediately made good on a promise to vacate those roles. Separately, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein — whose firm has served as a breeding ground for key Trump administration allies like Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — blasted the president’s move as a “setback” for climate change efforts.
“We are deeply disappointed by the recent shift in climate policy,” said sneaker giant Nike in a statement. The company added that “climate change is a serious global threat and … the world will need to radically redesign industrial systems and economies in order to enable a low-carbon growth economy.”
Energy giant Shell — one of several oil behemoths that have in recent years adopted environmentally friendly policies — voiced support for the agreement, even as it pledged to continue working with the Trump administration on energy policy.
“Shell recognizes that climate change is a challenge that belongs to all of society — not one individual or one country,” the company said in a statement. “For our part, we will continue to take internal actions and convene important conversations that acknowledge our role in providing more and cleaner energy.”
In the wake of the decision to leave the Paris Accord, “we need to be really clear — rather than just walking away from it — what you put in place in the United States,” Dudley told the network from St. Petersburg, Russia.
Oil and gas industry association American Petroleum Institute refused to take a position on the Paris Accord. However, the organization pointed to the shale revolution that has vaulted the U.S. into the upper ranks of the world’s largest oil producers within a few short years.
“We have always said that Paris was a missed opportunity to talk about how the United States is leading the world in the production and refining of oil and natural gas, and leading the world in reducing carbon emissions,” Michael Tadeo, a spokesman for the API, told CNBC.
“The United States is now near 30-year lows in carbon emissions from electricity generation. Instead of government mandates that could increase energy costs, the world should embrace our nation’s energy renaissance that has lowered costs for consumers, benefitted American workers and improved the environment,” Tadeo added.