'We are still in': Tech giants Apple, Google join US alliance to honour Paris climate agreement

Facebook and Google are among the top US tech giants who have joined an alliance to fight global warming by reducing carbon emissions to honour the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Tech giants Apple, Google join US alliance to...
PTI Houston 06 Jun 2017, 02:35 PM IST

Facebook and Google are among the top US tech giants who have joined an alliance to fight global warming by reducing carbon emissions to honour the Paris Agreement on climate change, days after President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the landmark deal. 

The tech giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel and Microsoft are among the hundreds of businesses that declared their intention to continue working towards reducing carbon emissions. 

The firms who were noticeably absent were Oracle, IBM, and all the major telecommunications providers. 

"In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the US economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the US remains a global leader in reducing emissions," the coalition, which now consists of more than 1,000 entities, said in a statement yesterday. 

Trump last week withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement and said that India would get billions of dollars for meeting its commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement along with China and gain a financial advantage over the US. 

The decision has drawn a negative reaction from around the world with world leaders vowing to enhance their commitment to the landmark accord. 

Nearly 200 countries are part of the accord and have agreed to fight global warming by reducing carbon emissions. 

Scientists anticipate that climate change could push the Earth to dangerous temperatures much sooner with the US retreat from the pledge because the country burns so much energy. 

The coalition, calling itself "We are still in," includes leaders from nine states, 125 cities, 902 businesses and investors, and 183 colleges and universities. The effort is led by philanthropist and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

"In the absence of a supportive federal coordinating role, these actors will more closely coordinate their own re-carbonisation actions," Bloomberg wrote in a letter to the United Nations secretary-general. 

"Collectively, they will redouble their efforts to ensure that the US achieves the carbon emissions reductions it pledged under the Paris Agreement." 

Trump's withdrawal from the pact drew swift condemnation from several tech giants last week, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said he spoke with the president earlier in the week in an effort to persuade him not to withdraw from the pact. 

In addition to Cook, the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, HP, Intel and Tesla also asked Trump to stay in the agreement. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, made good on his threat to leave several of the president's advisory councils if the president pulled the US out of the climate deal. 

Cities and states across the US, governors and over 200 mayors have vowed to keep fighting climate change and adopt clean energy technologies, despite President Trump's controversial decision to withdraw the country from the Paris Climate Agreement.
 
"We Are Still In" represents the most serious attempt yet by local officials, business executives, and private-sector leaders to buck the Trump administration's decision, which sent political shockwaves around the world. 

Participants vowed to meet the Paris agreement's target of limiting global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels by 2100. 

They also pledged to accelerate the transition to renewable energy. "In the US, it is local and state governments, along with 
businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years," the group wrote in an open letter to the international community. 

"Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt," they wrote. 

The new coalition includes dozens of university and college leaders, including the chancellors of six University of California campuses, the president of New York University, plus schools from many states in between the coasts. 

Nineteen attorneys general joined the group, including New York AG Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts AG Maura Healy, both of whom are investigating Exxon Mobil for allegedly deceiving investors on the company's climate risks The coalition intends to submit a "Societal Nationally Determined Contribution" to the UN, which will be called "America's Pledge" and account for the climate-fighting 
efforts of US cities, states, businesses, and other subnational actors. 

It would be rare, if not unprecedented, for a coalition like this to formally join a UN treaty meant for nations to sign. 

 
   
 

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