NIKE Quits Chamber of Commerce Board Over Climate Rift

NIKE Quits Chamber of Commerce Board Over Climate Rift
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The exodus continues.  Nike announced today that the company simply cannot stand by and watch the Chamber of Commerce continue its campaign to derail much-needed action to address climate change.  So Nike Just Did It.

Here is Nike’s statement [PDF copy courtesy of NRDC here]:

Nike believes US businesses must advocate for aggressive climate change legislation and that the United States needs to move rapidly into a sustainable economy to remain competitive and ensure continued economic growth.

As we’ve stated, we fundamentally disagree with the US Chamber of Commerce on the issue of climate change and their recent action challenging the EPA is inconsistent with our view that climate change is an issue in need of urgent action.

We believe businesses and their representative associations need to take an active role to invest in sustainable business practices and innovative solutions.

It is important that US companies be represented by a strong and effective Chamber that reflects the interests of all its members on multiple issues. We believe that on the issue of climate change the Chamber has not represented the diversity of perspective held by the board of directors.

Therefore, we have decided to resign our board of directors position. We will continue our membership to advocate for climate change legislation inside the committee structure and believe that we can better influence policy by being part of the conversation. Moving forward we will continue to evaluate our membership.

Nike’s departure from the board of the U.S. Chamber amplifies the already strong signal sent by Exelon, PNM Resources and PG&E in recent days that the Chamber does not represent the mainstream corporate view on climate action.  Disgusted over its antics on climate, PNM Resources dropped the Chamber of Commerce altogether, leaving both its position on the board and announcing plans to let its membership in the business lobby expire.  PG&E also withdrew completely from the Chamber, and Exelon followed suit yesterday.

Today it is Nike’s turn.  Who will quit tomorrow and the next day until the Chamber gets the message that it does not speak for corporate America on this issue and should get out of the way?

Nike, PG&E, PNM Resources and Exelon – and no doubt several other major companies who still retain seats on the board or memberships with the Chamber – understand that climate change threatens their bottom line, and they want to see action to address that threat.   By quitting the Chamber, they are taking a stand in favor of clean energy.

Who is next?  Toyota, are you listening? How about Johnson & Johnson?

NIKE Quits Chamber of Commerce Board Over Climate Rift
Brendan is Executive Director of DeSmog. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and energy. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets.

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