May 22, 2022

Climate Change News

Saving The Planet

Apple and Disney among the companies that support groups against the US climate bill US political lobby

Some of the most prominent American companies, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Disney, support business groups fighting climate legislation, despite their own promises to combat the climate crisis.

A group of business organizations and lobbyists have mobilized to oppose the $ 3.5 million budget bill proposed by Democrats, which contains unprecedented measures to reduce the gases that heat the planet. The reconciliation bill has been described as “the most important climate action in our country’s history” by Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the United States Senate.

Most large U.S. companies have expressed concern about the climate crisis or announced their own goals of reducing greenhouse gases. Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people in the world, has said that the climate crisis is the “biggest threat to our planet” and that the company he founded, Amazon, has promised that companies will reduce their emissions to zero until 2040. Microsoft has promised to be “carbon negative” within a decade and Disney intends to use only renewable source electricity in the same period of time.

But these leading companies, and others, are actively supporting or guiding the same lobbyists trying to sink the bill that carries the weight of Joe Biden’s ambitions to deal with the climate crisis, threatening one of the last major legislative efforts. which will help decide whether parts of the world are sinking into a new, uninhabitable climate state.

“Large corporations like to tell us about their commitment to tackling the climate crisis and building a sustainable future, but behind closed doors they are funding the same industry trade groups that are fighting nails to stop the largest climate change bill in history. ”said Kyle Herrig, chairman of the accountable monitoring group Accountable.US, which compiled the analysis.

None of the companies contacted by the Guardian would resume the stance of the pressure groups of which they are a part and none said it would review their links with those groups.

“Hiding behind these shady groups not only puts our environment at risk, but also jeopardizes the name and reputation of these companies,” Herrig said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to “doing everything possible to prevent this bill on reconciling tax increases and job killings from becoming law.” The main board of the business lobby group includes executives from companies such as Microsoft, Intuit, United Airlines and Deloitte, who have expressed concern about climate change (Deloitte even includes teaching the climate crisis to employees in training its staff ) and have made several promises to reduce emissions.

Another group, the Business Roundtable, has said it is “deeply concerned” about the passage of the bill, mainly because it raises taxes on the rich. The organization is made up of chief executives of the company, including Apple’s Tim Cook, who has called on governments and companies to take stronger action on the climate emergency. Other members include Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Amazon, Sundar Pichai, who runs Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Darren Woods, CEO of oil giant Exxon.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group that includes Bayer and AstraZeneca among its members, has posted ads attacking the bill. The Rate Coalition, another pressure group whose members are Disney, FedEx and Verizon, is also planning an advertising bombardment to help end legislation while the National Manufacturers Association (backed by Johnson & Johnson, Dow and Goodyear) has said he is trying to jot down the bill “in every way you can imagine.”

This bombing threatens legislation that is already facing a dangerous path through Congress, and the president needs all Senate Democrats to vote on the package for approval. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia centrist Democrat who is the main recipient of donations from the fossil fuel industry, has said the climate section of the bill “makes no sense” and has demanded that coal subsidies be maintained , oil and gas. Republicans are universally opposed to the bill.

If enacted, the bill would establish a system to phase out emissions from the U.S. electricity system, provide payments to boost carbon-free nuclear power, and support the adoption of electric vehicles.

As the first major attempt at climate legislation in more than a decade, the bill comes at a time when scientists warn that the world is running out of time quickly to prevent catastrophic climate change. The failure of the legislation would not only affect Biden politically, but would likely hamper attempts to incite other countries to more drastic action in the upcoming United Nations climate talks in Scotland.

“This is a historic opportunity to end fossil fuel subsidies and invest in a livable future,” said Lukas Ross, manager of the Friends of the Earth climate program. “We can’t miss this opportunity to pass meaningful climate legislation because there may not be any more.”

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