Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, has signed a letter with more than 70 other chief executives urging the US to continue to comply with the standards and targets set out in the Paris Agreement. The letter, written by Stuart Applebaum, the executive committee of the AFL-CIO and chairman of the International Committee, sets out the seriousness of global climate change. Specifically, the letter addresses the impact of global warming on the U.S. economy.
Our signatories are a group of CEOs employing more than 2 million people in the United States and union leaders representing 12.5 million workers. We know that working together can help us make progress in addressing climate change, which is best for the economic health, jobs and competitiveness of our company and our country.
In 2017, many of us are working together to support the United States’ accession to the Paris Agreement. We got together and said we wouldn’t quit. Two years ago, the impact of global warming was clear. Today, with record temperatures across the United States, hurricanes sweeping along the coast, and more destructive wildfires, droughts and floods destroying the economy, we have no time to waste.
The letter highlights the importance of respecting workers’ labor rights and the ability of companies to choose their own paths while respecting environmental standards to meet emissions reduction targets. The letter continues to call on the United States to work towards compliance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement.
And tim Cook’s signature in this letter is not surprising, as Apple has begun to stand out in the sustainable sector. In the spring of 2018, Apple announced that its data centers, retail stores and Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino will use 100% renewable energy.
Apple has now set a goal of trying to build a complete closed-loop supply chain that it hopes to produce from 100% recycled materials. Since 70% of Apple’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the supply chain, the adverse environmental impact son-in-place of product production will be greatly reduced.
Other notable CEOs in the deal include Elon Musk of Tesla, Ginni Rometty of IBM and Satya Nadella of Microsoft.
The Paris Agreement is a voluntary agreement to limit the rise in global average temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius this century and to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement was ratified in 2016 and has been signed by nearly 200 countries, regions and states.
If left unchecked, global warming will continue to cause more severe “superstorms”, typhoons and hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards. As glaciers melt, sea levels rise, and by 2100, about 10 percent of the world’s population could lose their homes. As permafrost melts, methane storage in the Arctic could be released into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming.
The main objective of the Paris Agreement is to limit carbon emissions, mainly by restructuring systems and encouraging companies to switch to renewable energy. The 186 countries in the Paris Agreement have submitted formal carbon reduction targets. The Paris Agreement also seeks to provide funding to developing countries (up to $100 billion per year) to mitigate the losses of climate change and to provide a clean renewable energy framework.