Technology

Tech firms push Trump to not withdraw from Paris climate agreement

Following reports that President Trump is expected to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, major technology firms moved swiftly on Thursday to urge the president to reconsider.

On Thursday morning, major firms including Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Microsoft and Salesforce paid for a full-page ad in both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal urging Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were among the business leaders to personally call the White House in a last-ditch effort to keep the U.S. in the agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Musk took to Twitter to warn that if Trump elects to drop the U.S. from the climate deal, he will step down from his positions on White House advisory councils. Musk has earned significant criticism for his decision to stay on the councils in the past but has argued that it's "important" to have a role in shaping discourse at the White House.

Musk and Cook were only the initial wave in calls from the technology industry for Trump to keep the U.S. in the agreement.

IBM reaffirmed its support of the Paris climate deal on Thursday.

"This agreement requires all participating countries to put forward their best efforts on climate change as determined by each country," Wayne Balta, vice president of environmental affairs at IBM, wrote in a blogpost. "IBM believes that it is easier to lead outcomes by being at the table, as a participant in the agreement, rather than from outside it."

Dean Garfield, the president and CEO of the D.C. trade association Information Technology Industry Council, called the Paris agreement a "critical component" and a "responsibility." The council represents major tech firms like Twitter, Samsung and Dell.

"The perception that we have to decide between creating jobs or tackling climate change is a false choice," said Garfield. "It is not too late for the president to stay the course and work with the tech industry to ensure that more clean energy jobs continue to go to Americans and that U.S. leadership in innovation is second to none."

During a segment of CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday morning, CEO of HP Enterprise Meg Whitman also pleaded with the president.

"Please do not withdraw from the Paris climate accord. This is not in the best interest of Americans," Whitman said. "We need to own the next generation of jobs, whether that's clean energy or 3-D printing or immunotherapy. This is an arena that America should lead and must lead."

Trump tweeted Wednesday that he would reveal his decision on the Paris accord at 3 p.m. on Thursday in a Rose Garden speech.

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