The biggest companies in the US are backing business groups that are fighting landmark climate legislation. Amazon, Disney, Apple and Microsoft are amongst some of the companies supporting these businesses despite their vows to fight climate change, reports the Guardian.
A proposed $3.5 trillion budget bill put forward by the democrats aims to implement measures to put down planet-heating gases. However, corporate lobby groups and organisations have mobilized to oppose the bill being passed, while the Democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, calls the bill “the most significant climate action in our country’s history.”
Many large US corporations have announced their goals to cut greenhouse gases, like Jeff Bezos, one of the richest people, has declared the climate crisis to be “the biggest threat to our planet”, while his company Amazon has created a pledge for businesses to cut down their emissions to net zero by 2040. Microsoft has also promised to be “carbon negative” and Disney aims to use only renewable-sourced electricity. However, these very groups are also playing the other side, by actively supporting lobby groups that are trying to sink the very same bill. Joe Biden’s ambitious goals to tackle climate crisis is being threatened by one of the largest legislative efforts to solve the issue and save the planet from sinking into an unlivable state.
President of watchdog group Accountable.US, Kyle Herrig says, “Major corporations love to tell us how committed they are to addressing the climate crisis and building a sustainable future, but behind closed doors, they are funding the very industry trade groups that are fighting tooth and nail to stop the biggest climate change bill ever”
The companies lobbying for the cause, when contacted by the Guardian didn’t rebuke the lobby groups and neither said they would review their links their support to these groups. Herrig says that “Hiding behind these shady groups doesn’t just put our environment at risk – it puts these companies’ household names and reputations in serious jeopardy.” Moreover the US Chamber of Commerce, comprising of executives from Microsoft, Intuit, United Airlines and Deloitte, have promised to “do everything we can to prevent this tax raising, job killing reconciliation bill from becoming law.” These very companies have ironically, also expressed their concern over climate change and have made various promises in the past to cut down emissions.
Business Roundtable, another group of big company executives including Apple’s Tim Cook, Andy Jassy chief executive of Amazon, and Sundar Picharai head of Alphabet; has expressed its deep concern over the bill which will raise heavy taxes on the wealthy. The Pharmaceuticals Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group comprising of Bayer and AstraZeneca has run adverts opposing the bill as well. Lobby groups with members from Disney, FedEx, Verizon, Johnson&Johnson, Dow and Goodyear, have been making keen efforts to kill of the bill.
The president, Joe Biden needs every Senate Democrat to approve the bill, in order to be passed, however, senate members like centrist Democrat from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, who receives a significant amount of donations from the fossil fuel industry has already declared the bill “makes no sense”. The first major attempt at climate legislation seems to be close to a failure, wounding Biden politically and hindering attempts to prod other countries to take rapid action at the upcoming UN Climate Talks.