Microsoft, Amazon oppose Trump's dumping of climate agreement | KUOW News and Information

Microsoft, Amazon oppose Trump's dumping of climate agreement

Jun 2, 2017

President Trump invoked the needs of American businesses and energy users when he announced Thursday that he was pulling the country out of the Paris climate accords.


Many of the nation's biggest companies, including Amazon and Microsoft, opposed the move.

"We all live on a small planet and every nation needs to work with others to protect it," Microsoft President Brad Smith tweeted on Thursday. 

In contrast to Trump's depiction of the 2015 Paris accords as a "self-inflicted major economic wound," Smith said the agreement was good for the U.S. economy and environment.

Tech firms are among the nation's biggest electricity users. Their heavy energy demands come mostly from running data servers.

Smith said Microsoft officials had met in recent months with State Department and White House officials to make the business case for remaining in the global climate agreement.

“Amazon continues to support the Paris climate agreement and action on climate change," Amazon spokesperson Melanie Janin said in an email. "We believe that robust clean energy and climate policies can support American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth." 

The position is not limited to companies based in the ultra-liberal Seattle or San Francisco Bay areas.

CEOs of 30 major corporations, including Bank of America, Dow Chemical, General Electric, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, wrote an open letter to Trump in a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal in May expressing their "strong support" for the U.S. remaining in the Paris climate agreement.

A different group of 25 corporations, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley took out full-page ads on multiple days in the New York Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal in recent weeks.

“As some of the largest companies based or operating in the United States, we strongly urge you to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement on climate change,” they wrote.

A spokesperson for Starbucks, which in the past has partnered with environmental groups to promote climate action and has called climate change a "crisis" for coffee farmers and others, declined to comment on Trump's action.

Jason Hagey of the Association of Washington Business, which is suing to block Governor Jay Inslee's plan to limit carbon emissions, said the group had not taken a position on the Paris climate accords.

Microsoft officials said Trump's policies won't slow the company's efforts to save energy at its server farms and get half its power worldwide from clean energy sources by the end of next year.