Chamber To Apple: You Don’t Understand Our ’21st Century Approach To Climate Change’

Posted on

"Chamber To Apple: You Don’t Understand Our ’21st Century Approach To Climate Change’"

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, who last year called for further “scientific inquiry” into climate science because of a “cooling trend,” today rebuked Apple for leaving his organization, claiming they did not understand the Chamber’s “21st century approach to climate change“:

I am sorry to learn of Apple’s resignation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is unfortunate that your company didn’t take the time to understand the Chamber’s position on climate and forfeited the opportunity to advance a 21st century approach to climate change.

Apple — recognized as the most innovative company in the world — had criticized the Chamber for not having a “more progressive stance” on climate change, saying, “We strongly object to the Chamber’s comments opposing the EPA’s efforts to limit greenhouse gases.”

Apple is right. The Chamber of Commerce has a 19th-century stance on global warming, opposes regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and has become an enemy of a clean-energy economy. The Chamber has promoted the work of climate skeptics on the radical fringe from 1992 to the present day. This year, the Chamber called for a “Scopes monkey trial” on climate science, attacking the scientific evidence of the threat of global warming pollution to the public welfare in a legal filing against the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Chamber claims to “support strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change,” but has virulently opposed any such legislation, including McCain-Leiberman in 2003 and 2005, Lieberman-Warner in 2007, and Waxman-Markey in 2009.

Furthermore, the Chamber has set an impossible standard for climate legislation: the Chamber’s “support” for federal legislation is “conditional on an international agreement that requires full international participation,” knowing full well that such a treaty is impossible without U.S. legislation. Worse, the Chamber is opposed to the United States setting tariffs on countries that don’t limit their greenhouse gases even if we do, claiming that would “set off a trade war.”

The energy industries of the 19th century — coal and oil — are controlling U.S. Chamber of Commerce energy policy. We can only hope that the future of the United States is determined instead by 21st century companies like Apple, and the hundreds of others that are calling for strong climate action today.

The letter in full:

Mr. Steven P. Jobs
Chief Executive Officer
Apple Inc.
One Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

Dear Mr. Jobs:

I am sorry to learn of Apple’s resignation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is unfortunate that your company didn’t take the time to understand the Chamber’s position on climate and forfeited the opportunity to advance a 21st century approach to climate change.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues to support strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. Furthermore, we believe that Congress should set climate change policy through legislation, rather than having the EPA apply existing environmental statutes that were not created to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This is also the stated position of the President and Congressional leaders.

Your letter states that “Apple is committed to the environment and the communities in which we operate around the world.” So is the Chamber but we are also committed to preserving the competitiveness and prosperity of the communities and businesses in our nation.

While we do support legislation to address climate change, we oppose legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill that numerous studies show will cause Americans to lose their jobs and shift greenhouse gas emissions overseas, negating potential climate benefits. An effective climate change response must include all major CO2 emitting economies, promote new technologies, emphasize efficiency, ensure affordable energy for families and businesses, and defend American jobs while returning our economy to prosperity.

The American business community that we proudly represent is the single largest investor and innovator in clean energy solutions and remains committed to a strong economy and clean environment. We continue to remind the public and policymakers that it has been the private sector that has developed the innovations that we now take for granted, from the personal computer to the medicines that keep us healthy. The Chamber believes that the business community will continue to be the catalyst for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and we support efforts to tackle climate change in a way that will strengthen our economy, protect American jobs, and benefit our environment.

Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. The Chamber supports an international agreement that will set realistic and achievable goals, ensure global participation, protect intellectual property rights and remove trade barriers to environmental goods and services.

I would have hoped that Apple would have supported our efforts to improve environmental stewardship and keep Americans at work and our economy competitive. As the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, the Chamber is leading the way to support the innovation needed to transition to a lower carbon future, including the elimination of barriers to the deployment of clean energy technologies. Supporting innovation and technology is at the very heart of our efforts to combat climate change, and we will continue to fight for an approach that embraces their merits.

It is a shame that Apple will not be part of our efforts.

Sincerely,

Tom Donohue

« »

Comments are closed.