Business wants Trump to stick with Paris climate accord

The heat is on: President Trump says he will decide this week whether to stick with the landmark Paris climate accord.

If Trump bails on the agreement, which has been signed by 195 countries, he will do so over the objections of hundreds of major U.S. businesses.

In recent months, big business has lobbied fiercely in favor of the deal, which aims to end the fossil fuel era. Even major oil firms like Chevron and ExxonMobil back it.

Exxon CEO Darren Woods wrote a personal letter to Trump earlier this month, urging him to stick to the deal. The U.S., he said, is “well positioned to compete” with the agreement in place and staying in means “a seat at the negotiating table to ensure a level playing field.”

It might appear to be a strange move for energy firms, but many like the agreement because it favors natural gas (which they produce) over dirtier coal.

It’s more than just energy firms, though: Microsoft, Apple, Starbucks, Gap, Nike, Google, Adidas and L’Oreal all support continued U.S. involvement.

Business leaders say the Paris deal, also called COP21, will help generate new jobs, limit damage from climate change and help assert American leadership on the global stage.

“By expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, the agreement generates jobs and economic growth,” business leaders wrote in a recent ad published in major newspapers. “U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets. Withdrawing from the agreement will limit our access to them and could expose us to retaliatory measures.”

Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and blasted the Paris agreement as a “bad deal.”

At this weekend’s G7 Summit in Sicily, European Union officials and the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris agreement. The group said the U.S. was “reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus.”

Trump issued a tweet on the topic: “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!”

The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, estimates that unchecked climate change could cost the U.S. economy almost $2 trillion per year in current dollars by 2100.