Technology, United States

Tech Leaders Defy Trump on Paris Agreement

Tech Leaders Defy Trump on Paris Agreement

Despite the decision of President Donald Trump to leave the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the biggest US tech firms have chosen to rally behind it. Other world leaders who had signed up with the accord have expressed their dismay at the decision of the US President, but the largest outcry has been heard on the west coast of Trump’s own country. His decision has been criticized by the chief executives of Microsoft, Apple, Google and also Facebook. Mr. Trump’s business panel had also boasted Elon Musk as its member, but he declared that he would give up his post after the President announced his decision.

He tweeted that climate change is very real and their decision to leave the Paris Agreement would not benefit the country or the world. A number of tech firms, including Amazon and IBM, stated that they would continue trying to meet the goals that have been outlined by the climate deal. In a statement, the technology company IBM said that they are still in support of the US Participation in the Paris Agreement. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal officer and president, said that the company was still committed to doing their part of the agreement. Environmentalists have criticized a number of tech firms, primarily due to the huge energy demanded by their data centers.

A report indicated that about 70 billion kilowatts of electricity were consumed by US data centers, which was roughly about the same energy that’s consumed by six and a half million US homes. Consequently, tech firms have made huge investments in an attempt to make their operations greener. For instance, Google says that it is on its way of achieving its own goal of offsetting 100% of the energy used by its data centers against renewable power. Apple has also declared that 96% of the energy it uses is derived from renewable sources.

Now, the iPhone maker is also encouraging its suppliers to follow the same route. Analysts said that a number of companies have already made investments in renewables and leaving the Paris Climate Agreement is simply going to counter it. This is to imply that if investing in renewables doesn’t turn out to be cost-effective for these companies, they would start considering it a mistake. The tech giants are also faced with another downside. The departure from the agreement would mean that US is no longer going to be at the forefront of the technological innovation needed for meeting the goals of the agreement.

Chinese and European firms will get an edge over US tech giants, which is a disadvantage because numerous American tech firms have wanted a slice of the renewable energy market. For instance, Tesla had recently announced solar panels for roofs, which look like ordinary tiles. The US Energy Information Administration has said that 10% of the US energy demands are fulfilled by all renewable energy sources combined, but certain resources such as solar have been growing rapidly. More US workers are employed by solar energy as opposed to Google, Apple and Facebook combined.

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