UPDATE: After President Donald Trump announced he would be exiting the Paris climate accord, Tesla CEO Elon Musk kept his promise, tweeting that he was “departing presidential councils.”
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
Musk currently serves in two of the administration's councils; the economic advisory board and the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. After having urged the administration not to leave the agreement, Musk tweeted he would leave the White House if Trump chose to remove the United States from the deal.
UPDATE: President Donald Trump defied the 25 U.S. companies urging him to keep America in the Paris climate accord and went against the 195 nations that are part of the deal by saying, "As someone who cares deeply about the environment, which I do, I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States."
The announcement took place Thursday following a great deal of anticipation and pressure coming from countless groups arguing Trump would be making a mistake by leaving the accord.
"In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens,” the president said while speaking from the White House Rose Garden, “the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States."
"We're getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we'll see if there's a better deal. If we can, great. If we can't, that's fine," he added.
As the world patiently awaits President Donald Trump's decision regarding the Paris climate accord, people from all corners of the country are urging the administration to think twice before withdrawing from the agreement.
To many, the thought that America could leave the landmark climate accord seems beyond outlandish — particularly to those in Silicon Valley.
In a letter urging Trump to keep the United States in the 2015 deal, 25 companies, including Google, Apple, Facebook, Unilever, Microsoft, Tiffany & Co., and Morgan Stanley, argue that the Paris accord “[expands] markets for innovative clean technologies” and that “continued [U.S.] participation in the agreement benefits [U.S.] businesses and the [U.S.] economy in many ways.”
Most importantly, the letter adds, the accord strengthens “competitiveness” while easing the potentially negative effects climate change exerts 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 [U.S.] interests by remaining a full partner in this vital global effort,” the letter states.
Dear President Trump, as some of the largest companies in the US, we strongly urge you to keep the US in the Paris Agreement. pic.twitter.com/ztSXyYtRrm— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) June 1, 2017
This combined effort follows Telsa CEO Elon Musk's threat to leave the administration as a member of Trump's White House business council if the president exits the agreement.
Musk wasn't the only business leader to take that stance — oil giant Exxon Mobil has also urged Trump to renew America's involvement with the accord.
Don't know which way Paris will go, but I've done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2017
Will have no choice but to depart councils in that case— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2017
If the U.S. exits this agreement thanks to Trump, it would represent a dramatic change in American policy that puts Trump at odds with members of his own party. In the past, both Republican and Democratic presidents held consistent lines about international climate politics, making it a potentially disastrous strategy for the president if he chooses to walk away from pledging to remain involved in combating climate change.
Knowing how volatile and unpredictable the president is, you might never know exactly what he will do next. This time, however, most Americans want him to surprise everyone as he unveils his decision — but in a good way.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters