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Tech giants say 'we are still in' Paris climate pact

Coalition of businesses, cities, states and universities pledges to continue to work toward reducing carbon emissions.

Environmental Activists In Chicago Protest Paris Climate Accord Decision
Demonstrators protest President Donald Trump's decision to exit the Paris climate change accord in Chicago on Friday.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

The biggest names in the tech industry have joined a growing coalition of businesses and civic organizations committed to honoring the Paris climate accord, despite no federal support for the agreement.

Tech heavyweights such as Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft are among the hundreds of businesses that on Monday declared their intention to continue working toward reducing carbon emissions. The announcement comes just days after President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the accord.

"In the absence of leadership from Washington, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses representing a sizeable percentage of the U.S. economy will pursue ambitious climate goals, working together to take forceful action and to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions," the coalition, which now consists of more than 1,000 entities, said in a statement released Monday.

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 with US retreat from the pledge because the country burns so much energy.

The coalition, calling itself "We are still in," includes leaders from nine states, 125 cities, 902 businesses and investors, and 183 colleges and universities. The effort is led by philanthropist and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"In the absence of a supportive federal coordinating role, these actors will more closely coordinate their own decarbonization actions," Bloomberg wrote in a letter to the United Nations secretary-general. "Collectively, they will redouble their efforts to ensure that the U.S. achieves the carbon emissions reductions it pledged under the Paris Agreement."

Trump's withdrawal from the pact drew swift condemnation from several tech giants last week, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said he spoke with Trump earlier in the week in an effort to persuade him not to withdraw from the pact.

In addition to Cook, the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, HP, Intel and Tesla also asked Trump to stay in the agreement. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, made good on his threat to leave several of the president's advisory councils if the president pulled the US out of the climate deal.

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