US tech firms pledge to meet Paris climate targets

Donald Trump decided recently to leave the Paris climate agreement. The decision has sparked a response from Silicon Valley leaders who have decided they’ll meet Paris Agreement goals without requirement from the government. The companies who have spoken out against Trump include Tesla, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook.

In a tweet, Elon Musk, who had been a member of Trump’s business panel, announced his resignation from the post, saying:

“Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”

Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Office, Brad Smith, initially said:

“The Paris Agreement is good for the US economy & the environment. We & other US companies urge @Potus to stay in the Paris Agreement.”

He then posted a follow-up statement, presumably after Trump’s decision was aired, saying:

“We’re disappointed with the decision to exit the Paris Agreement. Microsoft remains committed to doing our part to achieve its goals.”

The tech sector, with all of its huge data centres, is one of the biggest energy consumers on the planet, US data centres alone account for 70 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity which is roughly the same amount consumed by six-and-a-half million US homes. Several companies have already addressed this glaring issue, Google, for instance, has set itself the goal of offsetting 100% of its data centres’ energy use against renewable power, and 96% of Apple’s energy comes from renewable energy.

China and the European Union have taken the leadership role of the Paris Agreement now that the US has pulled out. The EU is even thinking about economic measures in retaliation against the US’ decision.

Source: BBC News | Image via Gage Skidmore

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