Monday, December 04, 2017

Top US firms including Walmart and Ford oppose Trump on climate change

Richard Luscombe
Friday 1 December 2017 11.32 EST

Since taking office, Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, rolled back numerous protections against environmental pollution and espoused coal as the fuel of the future, all in the name of job creation and ending what he sees as the “theft of American prosperity”.
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Yet the big businesses he claims to champion are increasingly choosing to ignore the US president’s sceptical stance on climate change and press ahead towards their own environmental goals without him.

Several of the country’s corporate giants, including Walmart, General Motors, Ford and Mars, appeared this week at the second annual Companies v Climate Change conference in Miami to showcase their progress and reinforce their belief that sustainability and other green targets can be achieved irrespective of the policies and purpose of the White House.

“We were disappointed [the] US pulled out of Paris, but what’s so great is what companies can do to make a difference,” said Zach Freeze, senior director for strategic initiatives in sustainability at Walmart, the first retailer to announce science-based targets for emissions reductions and a key signatory to the We Are Still In declaration that followed Trump’s Paris withdrawal.


Other companies at the conference in Miami – a poignant venue following flooding from Hurricane Irma in September and the threat of obliteration from sea-level rise within the next century – touted their own achievements in defiance of Trump’s climate stance. For example, General Motors’ purchase of 200 megawatts of wind energy for its Ohio and Illinois plants achieves 20% of its target to use only renewable energy sources by 2050. Confectionery giant Mars, meanwhile, has launched a $1bn sustainability plan, targeting a 70% reduction in greenhouse gases.


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