Tech world blasts withdrawal from Paris agreement


President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord was met with concern in most corners of the tech industry, which had largely been lobbying against the move in recent days.

“I spoke with President Trump on Tuesday and tried to persuade him to keep the U.S. in the agreement. But it wasn’t enough,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a memo to employees, which was obtained by The Hill.

“Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it. I want to reassure you that today’s developments will have no impact on Apple’s efforts to protect the environment,” he added.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said his company met with White House and State Department officials to urge the administration to stay in the agreement.

“We remain steadfastly committed to the sustainability, carbon and energy goals that we have set as a company and to the Paris Agreement’s ultimate success,” Smith wrote in a blog post on LinkedIn.

“Our experience shows us that these investments and innovations are good for our planet, our company, our customers and the economy.”


Microsoft was part of a group of tech companies that took out full-page ads in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal arguing in favor of the agreement.

“Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and it puts our children’s future at risk,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post. His company was among those who joined Microsoft in taking out the ad. “For our part, we’ve committed that every new data center we build will be powered by 100% renewable energy.”

Amazon, also part of that coalition, took to Twitter to show its support for the climate accord. 

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai echoed Amazon’s sentiment in his own tweet.

The president’s move also prompted Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to make good on his threat to resign from the White House advisory councils that he was on.

While other tech companies — such as IBM and Intel — represented on those councils expressed concern, the move did not immediately lead to any other resignations.

Uber, who’s CEO Travis Kalanick, previously held a position on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum before stepping down in February, voiced its disapproval of the President’s decision.

“Today’s announcement from President Trump that the United States will not honor the agreement is a huge disappointment,” wrote Andrew Salzberg, head of transportation policy and research at Uber. “Addressing rising temperatures is vital to ensuring the continued health and prosperity of populations across the globe.”

Updated: 8:25 p.m.


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