Climate change is real, says Elon Musk, resigns from President’s advisory council

Top business leaders show protest against Trump’s decision on Paris treaty

Updated - June 02, 2017 01:36 pm IST

Published - June 02, 2017 10:32 am IST - NEW YORK

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk

United States President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the Paris climate accord drew swift opposition from some of the most influential business leaders in the country, including the heads of Disney, GE and Goldman Sachs.

And Tesla boss Elon Musk carried out his threat to resign from the President’s advisory council shortly after Mr. Trump made his Rose Garden announcement on Thursday. Disney Chief Bob Iger quickly followed his lead.


Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfein was so incensed that he took to Twitter for the first time to decry the decision as “a setback for the environment and for the U.S.'s leadership position in the world.

GEs Jeffrey Immelt echoed the disappointment in his own tweet, saying, “Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.''

Bill Ford, chairman of the Ford Motor Co., also weighed in, saying- “We believe climate change is real, and remain deeply committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our vehicles and our facilities.” 

In an email to Apple employees, CEO Tim Cook expressed his disappointment, saying he spoke with Mr.Trump on Tuesday to try to persuade him to stay in the Paris accord. “It wasn't enough,” he said.


The corporate leaders are also, by extension, expressing their disapproval of the GOP-controlled Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, after all, both support Mr.Trump’s stance on Paris deal.

Making matters worse is how Mr.Trump gave an analysis from NERA to claim that 6.5 million industrial jobs and $3 trillion of GDP would be lost by 2040 if the country is stuck with the accord. That was the consultancy’s worst-case scenario, one already debunked by the World Resources Institute.


Business was quick to rally to Trump's side after his unexpected election victory last November, hoping he would deliver on his promises of tax and regulatory reform. Those initiatives have been stalled, however, by the administrations internal chaos and divisions within the Republican-led Congress. Alienating corporate America over climate change risks leaving those goals even further out of reach.

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