Tim Cook signs letter urging the US to remain in Paris Agreement

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in General Discussion
Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with over 70 other chief executives, has signed a letter asking the U.S. to continue to adhere to the standards and goals set forth by the Paris Agreement.

Secretary John Kerry signs Paris Agreement on behalf of the US in 2016
Secretary John Kerry signs Paris Agreement on behalf of the US in 2016


The letter, which was written by Stuart Applebaum, the Executive Council & Chair of International Committee, AFL-CIO, addresses the seriousness of climate change globally. Specifically, the letter talks about the impacts of climbing global temperatures on the U.S. economy.
We the undersigned are a group of CEOs who employ more than 2 million people in the United States and union leaders who represent 12.5 million workers. Together, we know that driving progress on addressing climate change is what's best for the economic health, jobs, and competitiveness of our companies and our country.

In 2017, many of us came together to rally behind the US' participation in the Paris Agreement. We came together to say we are still in. Two years ago, the impacts of climbing global temperatures were clear. Today, with record temperatures across the country, fiercer hurricanes pummeling coasts, more destructive wildfires, droughts and flooding disrupting the economy, we have no time to waste.
It highlights the importance of upholding environmental standards while respecting workers' labor rights and companies' abilities to choose their own path to meet emission reduction goals.

The letter goes on to request that the U.S. make an effort to remain in the Paris Agreement, rather than attempt the withdrawal that President Trump had announced in 2017.

It was unsurprising to find that Tim Cook had signed the letter-- after all, Apple has begun to set itself apart in the realm of sustainability.

In the Spring of 2018, Apple had announced that their data centers, retail stores, and the Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino all ran on 100% renewable energy.

Apple has now set a goal to strive for a fully closed-loop supply chain, hoping to be able to produce products with 100% recycled materials. As 70% of Apple's greenhouse emissions come from the supply-chain, this would greatly reduce the detrimental impact of product production on the environment.

Other noteworthy CEOs who have signed the agreement include Tesla's Elon Musk, IBM's Ginni Rometty, and Microsoft's Satya Nadella.

The Paris Agreement is a voluntary agreement which seeks to restrict global temperature rise to less than 2C above pre-industrial levels, with a hopeful goal of less than 1.5C. Ratified in 2016, there are nearly 200 countries, territories, and states that have signed onto the agreement.

If left unchecked, the rising global temperature weathers will continue to cause an influx of more severe "super-storms," typhoons and hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards. The sea levels will rise as glaciers melt, displacing over 10% of the world's population by the year 2100. As the permafrost melts, methane stores in arctic regions could be released into the atmosphere, which would in turn accelerate global warming.

The primary goal is to limit carbon emissions, mostly through restructuring systems and incentivizing businesses to move to renewable energy. 186 countries within the Paris Agreement have submitted formal carbon reduction targets. The Paris Agreement also seeks to provide funding to developing countries -- up to $100 billion a year -- to mitigate losses from climate change, as well as provide clean, renewable energy frameworks.

While it's true that President Trump has declared the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the withdrawal cannot take place until after the presidential election in 2020. Since the announcement, and despite the US Navy declaring climate change one of the largest threats it faces, the U.S. has made several changes in policy that contradict the underlying terms of the Paris Agreement.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    Only impeachment or a lost election next year will keep us in.
    spice-boy
  • Reply 2 of 60
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,846member
    Appleish said:
    Only impeachment or a lost election next year will keep us in.
    Pence is hardly going to be better. Might improve the odds of voting the party out, but only a little. In any event the party has made it clear they will stand or fall with Trump. They will block impeachment. I’m giving DT 80/20 odds of getting reelected.
  • Reply 3 of 60
    How about they worry about China’s  lack of requirements in the treaty. 
    mobirdmacseekerentropys9secondkox2cat52JWSCElCapitanrazorpitSpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 60
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Appleish said:
    Only impeachment or a lost election next year will keep us in.
    I guess that means we're out then. Awesome! :#
    lkruppJWSCanantksundaramcat52ElCapitanrazorpit
  • Reply 5 of 60
    DAalseth said:
    Appleish said:
    Only impeachment or a lost election next year will keep us in.
    Pence is hardly going to be better. Might improve the odds of voting the party out, but only a little. In any event the party has made it clear they will stand or fall with Trump. They will block impeachment. I’m giving DT 80/20 odds of getting reelected.
    Pence has zero chance of winning in the general. Highly likely Individual 1 will not be removed, but if he is, Pence will tarnished because of his involvement. Also, he's a pill.
    edited December 2019 robin huber
  • Reply 6 of 60
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 923member
    A recent report shows that the Paris agreement levels are inadequate and no major economy is currently on track to meet the standards agreed upon. At this point the agreement is more symbolic and aspirational than something likely to happen.

    The time to act would have been back when a certain Apple Board member made a film about the problem...
    sdw2001anantksundaram
  • Reply 7 of 60
    thttht Posts: 4,195member
    The only way Trump is changing his mind is 1) a clear indication that he’d lose the 2020 election if doesn’t re-enter the agreement, 2) he is convinced his properties make more money doing so, or 3) climate organizations outbid fossil fuel organizations by a lot (through lobby money, whatever under the table laundering). Currently, the only tenable option is 3, the bribery option. Maybe they can take care of 2 if they promise to bail out his properties poor business performance.

    Would be nice if it is 1, but we’re a very long ways from voters thinking beyond the current days’ problems versus the future (never mind that a lot of our current problems are climate related), and they never vote based on reasoned arguments to begin with. But this is the primarily the old people who actually vote that drive this. 18 to 38 year olds have to vote if they want to enact change. Vote in consistently high percentages, higher than the population of seniors.

    Voting is the number one way for people to make an impact. Please vote. Every election from education board to national elections. Vote. Convince your senior relatives to change their vote. Vote.
    Oferlolliveranantksundaramsingularity
  • Reply 8 of 60
    kelemor said:
    How about they worry about China’s  lack of requirements in the treaty. 
    It's better if you look at their actual actions rather than trying to trigger conservatives or defend inaction with a distraction technique.

    Huge moves in to EV production, solar, wind. From 2018: "For instance, China has the highest renewable energy capacity in the world, with 289 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar and wind capacity, compared to the United States’ 121 GW"
    The Natural Gas pipeline announced this week to help eliminate coal generation.
    lolliversingularity
  • Reply 9 of 60
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,779member
    The Paris Agreement is useless and unenforceable.  No issue with Cook signing the letter, because Apple is going to do Apple things (of which this is definitely one).   But the agreement itself exempts the biggest polluters in the world, namely China and India.  If you read the key provisions, it has a lot to do with helping "developing countries" more than it does a serious effort to reduce emissions.  Speaking of which, it is not clear that even major reductions in said emissions will stop the slow rise of GAT, certainly not before other natural phenomena do.  

    Regardless, a smart PR move by Apple.  
    JWSC
  • Reply 10 of 60
    thttht Posts: 4,195member
    mknelson said:
    kelemor said:
    How about they worry about China’s  lack of requirements in the treaty. 
    It's better if you look at their actual actions rather than trying to trigger conservatives or defend inaction with a distraction technique.

    Huge moves in to EV production, solar, wind. From 2018: "For instance, China has the highest renewable energy capacity in the world, with 289 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar and wind capacity, compared to the United States’ 121 GW"
    The Natural Gas pipeline announced this week to help eliminate coal generation.
    If there was only a nation that had a big enough economy to enact carbon tariffs on imports, which would compel some nations to change their behavior, and be able to convince other countries to do the same!

    The Paris Agreement is voluntary. Toothless. It’s more symbolic than anything. There still needs to be a strong group of nations that can form an economic block and develop incentives for decarbonization. We are still quite far away from this. Nice to have nations agree to do things, but it will be better if we were unified with coordinate efforts.
    fastasleepchristophburahara
  • Reply 11 of 60
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,004member
    The vast majority of those who are making decisions to ignore scientific evidence will be dead before the consequences of their inaction have a catastrophic  impact on their descendants. 

    The suffering caused by climate change and rising sea levels will be disproportionately felt by those who are least able to handle the disruption. The descendants of those who are currently steering future generations into a swampy abyss for their short term financial and political gains will be able to move their seaside mansions and luxury yachts to new seaside locations, like Phoenix, Spokane, and Kansas City. 

    To future generations: you have our thoughts and prayers. Oh, and learn how to swim. 


    StrangeDaysOferfastasleepFileMakerFelleriqatedo
  • Reply 12 of 60
    The agreement needs to be re-evaluated and the reasons for it substantiated further. Then we can look at it fresh and see what needs to be done. 

    Of course those who’ve invested heavily in one direction want to see themselves boosted by that. A change would be detrimental as they’ve spent so much already. For it to not matter as much anymore would hurt.

    this also makes it easier for established rich companies to stay on top by ensuring the “little guy” can’t get a foothold since his profits are going into all these restrictions rather than into his/her business. 

    There should be a standardized REASONABLE set agreements that are hard coded. Then an ideal that is dictated by market and ability. 

    It should not be something where only some can succeed. 


    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 13 of 60
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,846member
    davgreg said:

    The time to act would have been back when a certain Apple Board member made a film about the problem...
    Or about ten years before that. Back in the ‘80s there was testimony before Congress about the issue. They all listened, thanked the scientists who spoke, and then did nothing. 
    OferlolliverFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 14 of 60
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,061member
    davgreg said:
    A recent report shows that the Paris agreement levels are inadequate and no major economy is currently on track to meet the standards agreed upon. At this point the agreement is more symbolic and aspirational than something likely to happen.

    The time to act would have been back when a certain Apple Board member made a film about the problem...
    Al Gore certainly acted when his film came out.  Since his presidential bid expired in a judicial ruling, his net worth has increased from less than $2M to over $200M.  Not bad for a jet setting carbon-profligate climate doomster.
    FileMakerFellercat52razorpit
  • Reply 15 of 60
    Companies — which is where 70% of the direct (“Scope 1”) GHG emissions happen in countries like the US —are doing it in droves, and Apple is one of the undisputed leaders. (Take a detailed look at Apple’s recent environmental report to see the remarkable things it is doing). This ‘top-down’ approach of getting countries to agree to targets (which they’ll cheat on, anyway, unless they agree to intrusive monitoring and verification, which countries like China won’t agree to) has always struck me as a bit unworkable, at least, fishy. Allows all sorts of rent-seeking behaviors by politicians and bureaucrats

    If governments — with substantial UN prodding — can put a sizable carbon tax (say, $100/tonne, which would be the equivalent of $1 extra at the gas pump), dividend it back tp people in the form of an income/payroll tax cut, and get out of the way, this problem would be solved yesterday via private sector talent, R&D, and innovation. 
  • Reply 16 of 60
    sdw2001 said:
    But the agreement itself exempts the biggest polluters in the world, namely China and India.  If you read the key provisions, it has a lot to do with helping "developing countries" more than it does a serious effort to reduce emissions.   .  
    This is absolute uninformed BS, and you have no idea what you talking about. Read the Agreement; or at least, read about it from credible sources.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 60
    "Together, we know that driving progress on addressing climate change is what's best for the economic health, jobs, and competitiveness of our companies and our country."
    Or, to put it another way, "We've figured out a way to make money out of adopting this proposed change, so we're all for it!"
    cat52
  • Reply 18 of 60
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,846member
    "Together, we know that driving progress on addressing climate change is what's best for the economic health, jobs, and competitiveness of our companies and our country."
    Or, to put it another way, "We've figured out a way to make money out of adopting this proposed change, so we're all for it!"
    Exactly. Despite all the doomsayers we hear out of the Alberta oil patch, the White House, and from other people with a vested interest in polluting, it is possible to run a profitable business green. The green economy is the future. People can either join in it or keep making buggy whips and whining about how their jobs are disappearing. 
  • Reply 19 of 60
    China and the western Pacific rim are by far the biggest polluters in the world and I don't expect China to concede much in the accords. Putting heavy restrictions on the US economy without the biggest polluters doing their fair share of CO2 reduction is a good reason for the US to pull out.
    cat52razorpit
  • Reply 20 of 60
    Make the Macs, Tim.
    razorpit
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