Twenty-five of the world’s biggest corporations have made a last-minute pitch to President Donald Trump urging him not to reconsider plans to withdraw the United States from a landmark international agreement on climate change.
Companies including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Unilever and Morgan Stanley have signed a letter imploring Mr Trump not to exit the 2015 Paris climate accord, as he promised to do during his presidential campaign.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump said on Twitter that he would be announcing his decision on the accord from the White House Rose Garden at 8pm BST on Thursday.
White House sources said on Wednesday morning that Mr Trump will formally withdraw the US from the deal, although NBC have reported that the President is yet to reach a final decision.
It argues that “continued US participation in the agreement benefits US businesses and the US economy in many ways”.
According to the letter, the Paris Agreement creates jobs and growth by “expanding markets for innovative clean technologies”, while “strengthening competitiveness” and reducing the potentially harmful impact that future climate change may have on business.
“As other countries invest in advanced technologies and move forward with the Paris Agreement, we believe the United States can best exercise global leadership and advance US interests by remaining a full partner in this vital global effort,” the letter read.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that oil giant Exxon Mobil had also urged Mr Trump to keep the US signed up to the accord, with chief executive officer Daniel Woods arguing that policy goals “should be to reduce emissions at the lowest cost to society”.
If Mr Trump does withdraw from the deal, it would put the US alongside Syria as the only nation in the world that does not view climate change as a policy issue. Nicaragua, the only other country not signed up to the accord, is not involved because it does not believe the deal does enough to address climate change.
As one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world, a US withdrawal would represent a major blow to a deal that seeks to limit the worst effects of climate change.
The White House has yet to detail plans of what process it would use to withdraw from the agreement. If Mr Trump chooses to declare the deal a treaty and submit it for a Senate ratification vote, it is thought that he may struggle to secure enough votes to succeed.
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