WASHINGON, DC: January 10, 2017. In an open letter to Donald Trump and the new Republican Congress, more than 530 companies with combined revenues of US$1.14 trillion are calling for the U.S. economy to be powered by low-carbon energy.
During his campaign for the presidency, Trump called repeatedly for the expansion of America's coal industry and opening up federal lands for oil and gas extraction, claiming the move would create jobs.
In marked contrast to Trump's 1980s-era plans and his claim that climate change is a "hoax", the signatories say failure to build a low-carbon economy puts the country's prosperity at risk while the right action will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness.
"Creating jobs, and establishing the United States as an innovative world leader in creating a clean energy economy is a no-brainer for the Trump administration," said Aspen Skiing Company CEO Mike Kaplan. "If we stick to the Paris Agreement and the Clean Power Plan, we're well on our way to growing the manufacturing sector and protecting jobs in the US$650 billion outdoor industry."
Other companies to endorse low-carbon economics are DuPont, Gap Inc., General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hilton, HP Inc., IKEA, Interface, Johnson & Johnson, The Kellogg Company, Levi Strauss & Co., L'Oreal USA, NIKE, Mars Incorporated, Pacific Gas and Electric, Schneider Electric, Sealed Air, Starbucks, VF Corporation and Unilever.
Headquartered in 44 states, they already employ 1.8 million people.
"It's imperative that businesses take an active role in meeting the goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement," said Anna Walker, senior director of Global Policy and Advocacy at Levi Strauss & Co. "It will be critical that we work together to ensure the U.S. maintains its climate leadership, ultimately ensuring our nation's long-term economic prosperity."
Also part of the group trying to get Trump's Twitter attention are 100 investors with more than US$2 trillion in assets under management - including the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the California State Teachers Retirement System, Westpath Benefits and Investments, and Trillium Asset Management.
"With tens of billions of dollars of U.S. renewable energy investment in the works this year alone, and far more globally, the question for American political leadership is whether they want to harness this momentum and potential for economic growth," said Jonas Kron, senior vice president at Trillium Asset Management. "It is critically important to realize this is an opportunity that state policymakers can take advantage of, too, not just national leaders."
Trump and his eventual cabinet will find more information at www.lowcarbonusa.org.