Tech Giants Oppose Trump’s Withdrawal from the Paris Accord

June 5, 2017 - 3 minutes read

The tech industry is by definition fixated on the future, so it’s no wonder that its leaders take the threat posed by climate change very, very seriously. What good is their world-changing technology if there’s no world left to change? So naturally the tech world was outraged by President Trump’s announcement that he would be withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Of course, a lot of the world was disappointed in Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris accord, a voluntary agreement that seemed like one of the most promising developments in the world’s approach to climate change. But Silicon Valley’s top execs have been especially vocal about their disapproval of Trump’s foolish and short-sighted decision, echoing the concerns of MedTech app developers everywhere.

Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Tim Cook, and other thought leaders have made their stances clear. Zuckerberg, lately fond of issuing missives on technology, politics, and culture on his personal Facebook page, posted his denunciation, stating, “Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and it puts our children’s future at risk.” He then reminded readers of Facebook’s commitment to powering all of its data centers with renewable energy. Musk, a hero to many MedTech app developers, has faced criticism for maintaining a friendly relationship with the Trump administration in the hopes of advancing his interests in sustainable energy and space colonization. But after Trump turned his back on the Paris Agreement, Musk tweeted that he would be leaving the two presidential councils he was on, effectively severing his ties with the president.

Apple CEO Tim Cook actually called the White House earlier in the week to try to personally persuade Trump to change his mind. “Our mission has always been to leave the world better than we found it. We will never waver, because we know that future generations depend on us,” Cook wrote to employees in an email sent after the president’s announcement. As sincere as these pleas for our future are, the big tech companies also realize the more pragmatic reality: robust environmental policies are good for business too, fueling healthy competition, creating jobs, and stimulating growth. In the lead up to Trump’s decision, New York City app developers may have seen the full-page ad in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal signed by several major companies, including Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, and HP, urging the president to stick with the Paris Accord. As long as America’s top businesses are standing up for the environment alongside concerned American citizens, there is hope for the future.

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