November 19, 2016


U.S. Companies to Trump: Don't Abandon Global Climate Deal (HIROKO TABUCHI, NOV. 16, 2016, NY Times)

Hundreds of American companies, including Mars, Nike, Levi Strauss and Starbucks, have urged President-elect Donald J. Trump not to abandon the Paris climate deal, saying a failure by the United States to build a clean economy endangers American prosperity.

In a plea addressed to Mr. Trump -- as well as President Obama and members of Congress -- 365 companies and major investors emphasized their "deep commitment to addressing climate change," and demanded that he leave in place low-emissions policies in the United States.

"Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk," the companies said in a joint letter announced on Wednesday in Marrakesh, Morocco, where global leaders are determining the next steps for the Paris deal. "But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness."

The companies also said that they would push ahead with their own targets to reduce their carbon footprints regardless of steps taken by Mr. Trump once he is in office. During his campaign, Mr. Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, pledged to leave the Paris accord, dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and undo Mr. Obama's climate change policies.

Who Will Stand Up for Diversity, Inclusion, and the Environment Now? : The government won't. But Fortune 500 companies will. (Daniel Gross. 11/17/16, Slate)

This week, a large organization struck a deal to fuel a huge chunk of its operations with wind power. Another one conspicuously announced that its newest crop of future leaders would feature a larger number of women than ever before. And at several big institutions, top officials wrote to their rank and file to ensure them that despite the election of Donald Trump, they would hold firm on the values of inclusiveness, tolerance, and sensitivity.

These weren't universities, foundations, or social service organizations acting to reaffirm their progressive values in the wake of Trump's election. The entity buying the wind power was Microsoft. It was Goldman Sachs that announced a partner class that was 23 percent women--not great, but still a sign of progress. And some of the largest professional services and technology firms in the country have assured their employees that their policies aimed at promoting diversity and protecting minority rights remain intact.

An overt homophobe like Mike Pence can become vice president. An overt homophobe can't become a vice president at Apple.
All of which points to an irony in the age of Trump. Democrats have lost the White House and control neither chamber of Congress. The progressive values of the Obama coalition--recognizing climate change and resolving to do something about it, fighting for gay rights and equality for women, fostering a general sense of tolerance and inclusion--suddenly feel like they've been routed from public life in Washington. And yet: In Trump's America, in many respects, Fortune 500 companies will be far more progressive, and far more significant forces for progressive causes, than Washington. It's not across the board, to be sure: On taxes, trade, state power, and many aspects of regulation, America's largest companies remain largely regressive. But in the realms of sustainability, diversity, inclusion, and women's empowerment, they may well remain progressives' most prominent hope.

Posted by at November 19, 2016 12:17 PM