SAN FRANCISCO – Elon Musk said he was resigning from two White House advisory councils after President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord.
Other pillars of corporate America – including Google’s chief executive and Amazon – also joined a growing chorus of disapproval over Trump’s decision.
“Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Musk tweeted.
Musk, the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, had warned on Wednesday that he would quit the councils if Trump pulled out of the climate agreement.
Musk said he had “done all I can” – as a member of the advisory councils, through White House personnel and directly with the president – to push Trump to stick with the Obama-era plan. He later tweeted about China’s commitment under the climate accord; among that country’s goals is to get 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
Musk has been an outspoken advocate of alternative energy. His electric car company Tesla also makes solar panels and high-capacity batteries.
Musk was criticized when he agreed to serve on two Trump panels on economics and manufacturing, but he said he thought his presence could have a positive effect. “I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good,” he said at the time.
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, a member of Trump’s council on manufacturing, also tweeted his disapproval Thursday.
Immelt has been a vocal critic of Trump on the climate change issue. In an internal memo to employees obtained by Politico, he wrote: “We believe climate change should be addressed on a global basis through multi-national agreements, such as the Paris Agreement. We hope that the United States continues to play a constructive role in furthering solutions to these challenges, and at GE, we will continue to lead with our technology and actions.”
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, expressed a similar sentiment.
Google is among the two dozen companies that signed an open letter last month urging Trump to keep the U.S. in the climate accord.
Amazon also weighed in to support the Paris deal, pushing back against the idea that climate-change policies are bad for business.
“We believe that robust clean energy and climate policies can support American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth,” the e-commerce giant said in a string of tweets. “We remain committed to putting our scale and inventive culture to work in ways that are good for the environment and our customers.”