Apple Quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce Over Climate

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
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Apple became the fourth company in recent days to completely sever ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the business lobby’s backwards stance on climate change.

In a letter to the Chamber obtained by the New York Times, Apple states [PDF]:

“We strongly object to the chamber’s recent comments opposing the E.P.A.’s effort to limit greenhouse gases…Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the chamber at odds with us in this effort.”

The letter from Apple Vice President Catherine Novelli continues:

“We would prefer that the Chamber take a more progressive stance on this critical issue and play a constructive role in address the climate crisis. However, because the Chamber’s position differs so sharply with Apple’s, we have decided to resign our membership effective immediately.”

Apple did the right thing, and other Chamber members should follow suit immediately.

NRDC has an excellent run-down of several recent editorials from around the country, all slamming the Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to block action to address climate change.  The New York Times editorial points out that “no organization in this country has done more to undermine [climate] legislation.” 

The Times editorial “Way Behind The Curve” notes that the companies who have quit the Chamber so far “see a carbon-constrained world coming and want to get out ahead of the curve — not behind it like the chamber.”

The Boston Globe skewered the Chamber for its “increasingly shrill, doom-saying opposition to climate change legislation in Washington” in its editorial titled “US Chamber of Overstated Horrors.”

The Globe called the recent departure of energy companies Exelon, PNM Resources and PG&E “welcome cracks in the stone wall of the chamber. The question is how many more of the chamber’s 3 million members need to quit before the organization alters its retrograde view.”

That is a great question.  How many companies will stand up and quit the Chamber?  Every departure sends a strong message to the Chamber that a few powerful fossil fuel interests cannot claim to represent the views of corporate America.  Who will be next to send that much needed message?

Running tab of criticisms by the Chamber’s own members:

Quit US Chamber: Exelon, PNM Resources, PG&E, Apple.

Quit US Chamber Board: Nike.

Says Chamber doesn’t represent their views on climate: Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, San Jose Chamber of Commerce.

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
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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