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530 Companies Worth Trillions Call on Trump to Support Clean Energy

Tim Boyles Photography/Google via AP

Companies with annual revenue of more than $1.15 trillion and investors that manage more than $2 trillion in assets are calling on President-Elect Donald Trump to not stand in the way of renewable energy.   

“We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy,” the businesses wrote in a statement of support in partnership with the nonprofit Ceres. “Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness.”

The companies include DuPont, Gap Inc., General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hilton, HP Inc., IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, The Kellogg Company, Levi Strauss & Co., L’Oreal USA, NIKE, Mars Incorporated, Pacific Gas and Electric, Schneider Electric, Sealed Air, Starbucks, VF Corporation, and Unilever.

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Trump, who has expressed skepticism of climate change’s existence, has announced his intentions to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, and to reinvigorate the coal industry, and has appointed prominent fossil fuel proponents to key positions in the Environmental Protection Agency.

Overall, he effectively wants to dismantle the environmental legacy that President Barack Obama crafted through executive orders, including the Clean Power Plan.

For these reasons and more, the private sector feels compelled to call on the president to reconsider his priorities. And rather than make a moral or ethical case for renewable energy, the companies are making their argument in simple economic terms: renewable energy is the fiscally smart thing to do.

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For more than a decade, prices for solar and wind power technology have plummeted, investments in clean energy sources have skyrocketed, and the job potential of renewables dwarfs that of fossil fuels. Solar power alone fosters more jobs than oil and gas extraction. Job creation in solar grew 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. By 2030, renewables will generate 24 million jobs, according to the consulting firm Irena.

And then there are the long-term economic consequences. As climate change continues to alter environments all around the world, resources will become more scarce, infrastructure will be hurt, and tourism will be affected. Collectively, these changes will deal a heavy blow to the current global economic model.

The business community is firmly behind the transition to renewables. More than half of Fortune 500 companies are dedicated to using less fossil fuels, increasing energy efficiency, and buying more renewables.  

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Trump staked his presidential campaign on his business credentials and his supposedly skillful negotiating skills. When presented with the undeniable economic logic of renewable energy, it may be hard for him to reject such a good deal.