It’s not unusual for large businesses to weigh in on national policy – in fact, it could be said that it’d be strange for them to abstain – but General Motors and Walmart are not typically names one would expect to see on a lobbying action for climate action.
On Wednesday, December 2nd, a letter was sent to President-elect Joe Biden and other lawmakers urging them to make climate action a priority. The letter specifically called for the United States to re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement, which President Trump decried in 2017, calling it “job-killing” and “unfair.” The U.S. completed its formal withdrawal from the Agreement in November of this year, amid massive controversy.
The letter was signed by 42 companies, both American and international, including such giants as Amazon, GM, Walmart, IBM, Ford Motors, Morgan Stanley, and Microsoft.
“Our communities and our economy are enduring not only a devastating pandemic but also the rising costs of climate change,” the letter read. “Record wildfires, flooding, hurricanes and other extreme weather are upending lives and livelihoods. And science makes clear that future generations will face far greater environmental, economic and health impacts unless we act now.
“Recognizing these risks and opportunities, seeing the broad public support for clean energy and climate protection, and hearing the concerns of our investors, customers, communities, and employees, our companies view climate action as a business imperative.”
The full letter, which anyone can read here, goes on to detail the benefits of climate action on American economic activity.
The Paris Accord is a 200-nation-strong agreement to make industrial changes that aim to prevent a further rise of 2 degrees Celsius in global averages above per-industrial revolution temperatures, which is what many climate scientists consider to be the disaster point. President-elect Biden has already indicated that he intends to recommit the U.S. to the Paris Agreement, but has made no concrete pledge.