Early Prime Day Deals Best 5G Phones 2023 Cadillac Lyriq First Drive 4th of July Sales Prime Day Grill Deals The Right iPad for You PlayStation Prime Day Deals Best Standing Desks

Apple's Cook condemns Trump's Paris climate deal exit

The CEO says in an email to Apple employees that he pleaded with Trump to stay in the Paris climate accord, "but it wasn't enough."

Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed his disappointment with President Donald Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord.
Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Count Apple CEO Tim Cook as the latest tech figure who isn't a fan of President Donald Trump's latest move. 

Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord drew swift condemnation from several tech giants, including Facebook and Google. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, made good on his threat to leave several of the president's advisory councils after the move. 

The US joined the Paris agreement in 2015. Nearly 200 countries are part of the accord and have agreed to fight global warming by reducing carbon emissions. Scientists anticipate climate change could push the Earth to dangerous temperatures much sooner if the US retreats from the pledge because the country burns so much energy.

Trump, however, sees the agreement as unfair to the US and says it will cost the country jobs. 

"In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States," Trump said from the White House's Rose Garden on Thursday.

In a memo to Apple employees obtained by CNET, Cook wrote that he spoke with Trump earlier in the week in an effort to persuade him not to withdraw from the pact. 

"Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it," Cook wrote. "I want to reassure you that today's developments will have no impact on Apple's efforts to protect the environment." 

In addition to Cook, the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, HP, Intel and Tesla also asked Trump to stay in the agreement.

Ultimately, though, "It wasn't enough," Cook wrote in the memo.

Apple had joined rivals such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft in drafting a joint letter from nearly two dozen companies sent ahead of the announcement asking to stick with the accord. 

It wasn't just tech. The CEOs of General Electric and Disney, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Al Gore and others voiced their opposition.

Despite Trump's decision, Cook wrote that Apple's commitment to protecting the environment was unchanged. It's a move echoed by other tech giants like Amazon and Salesforce.com. 

Cook's memo:


I know many of you share my disappointment with the White House's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. I spoke with President Trump on Tuesday and tried to persuade him to keep the U.S. in the agreement. But it wasn't enough. 

Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it. I want to reassure you that today's developments will have no impact on Apple's efforts to protect the environment. We power nearly all of our operations with renewable energy, which we believe is an example of something that's good for our planet and makes good business sense as well. 

We will keep working toward the ambitious goals of a closed-loop supply chain, and to eventually stop mining new materials altogether. Of course, we're going to keep working with our suppliers to help them do more to power their businesses with clean energy. And we will keep challenging ourselves to do even more. Knowing the good work that we and countless others around the world are doing, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our planet's future.

Our mission has always been to leave the world better than we found it. We will never waver, because we know that future generations depend on us. 

Your work is as important today as it has ever been. Thank you for your commitment to making a difference every single day. 


CNET's Shara Tibken contributed to this report.

Originally published June 1 at 6:40 p.m. PT.
Updated June 2 at 9:58 a.m. PT: Added background information.

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility.

Logging Out: Welcome to the crossroads of online life and the afterlife.