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Companies make last-minute push to keep US in Paris climate agreement


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Companies make last-minute push to keep US in Paris climate agreement

Ahead of President Trump's scheduled announcement June 1 on whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement, a coalition of Fortune 100 companies urged Trump in a published advertisement to keep the U.S. in the accord, warning that a withdrawal could disrupt global supply chains.

The ad, sponsored by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, was signed by 24 major companies including Facebook Inc., Google Inc., The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Apple Inc., PG&E Corp., Unilever PLC and VF Corp., and ran June 1 in several publications, including the The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The coalition strongly urged Trump to remain in the 2015 agreement, saying it keeps the U.S. competitive, generates jobs and grows the economy.

"By expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, the agreement generates jobs and economic growth," the companies wrote. "U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets. Withdrawing from the agreement will limit our access to them and could expose us to retaliatory measures."

"The agreement will reduce future climate impacts, including damage to business facilities and operations, declining agricultural productivity and water supplies, and disruption of global supply chains," the companies added.

The coalition said that its members are invested in clean energy technologies to preserve what it called the "well-being" of its customers, communities and suppliers.

"For this transition to succeed, however, governments must lead as well," the companies wrote.

Trump said on Twitter on May 31 that he would announce his decision on whether to remain in the Paris climate pact at 3 p.m. ET on June 1 in an announcement from the White House Rose Garden. The Paris climate deal, signed in December 2015 by 195 countries, requires countries to reduce greenhouse emissions and pledges members to hold the increase in global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, while at the same time limiting the future temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The U.S. was second in the world in 2015 in terms of CO2 emissions, according to the European Commission's Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research.

Trump did not publicly state his intentions on whether the U.S. would stay in the agreement leading up to the scheduled Rose Garden announcement, but reports from Axios and CNN said the president intended to pull out of the agreement.

Trump has previously said he is not a believer in climate change, and he promised during his campaign to "cancel the Paris climate agreement" and stop the payment of U.S. tax dollars to United Nations global warming programs.

Should the U.S. withdraw, it would join Nicaragua and Syria as the only United Nations countries not a part of the climate deal.

Earlier this month, Tiffany & Co., which also signed the ad published June 1, posted a message on Instagram urging Trump to remain in the agreement, warning that the "disaster of climate change is too real."

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., said on Twitter on June 1 that he would leave his post as a member of Trump's business council should Trump leave the agreement.

A similar coalition that also includes Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Shell Oil Co. and General Mills Inc., sent a two-page letter to Trump on April 26 stressing the benefits of the accord and warning of repercussions should he withdraw.