Musk storms out of Trump advisory council over climate change decision

Trump has taken the US out of the Paris agreement and Elon Musk has had enough.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Trump has decided to take his country out of the Paris climate control agreement which has led to Tesla owner Elon Musk leaving his position on the president's advisory council.

Rumors began to circulate last month of Trump's plans to take the United States out of the Paris agreement, in which 195 countries have pledged to work together to reduce carbon emissions and pollution worldwide in order to safeguard the planet for future generations.

This isn't tree-hugger stuff, either. When you consider the air pollution and smog in Beijing and London as only minor examples of what our industrial efforts are doing to the planet, the problem is real -- and our ever-increasing demand for goods, energy, and fuel are only going to worsen the problem unless we take action now.

The Paris agreement asks countries to come together once every five years to set environmental targets, share information, and report on their progress in reducing carbon emissions. The long-term goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C and to aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C.

The US pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 28 percent by 2025 under the terms of the deal as well as commit up to $3 billion in financial aid for poorer countries.

Trump has figuratively slapped the faces of the international community by leaving what he calls a "draconian" agreement.

"We are getting out," Trump said Thursday, as reported by the New York Times. "But we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair. And if we can, that's great."

Several weeks ago following a direct chat with Trump, Musk said he was "cautiously optimistic" that Trump would not withdraw from the agreement, which could have serious consequences not only for the environment and global warming but also politically.

"I spoke directly with the president three weeks ago about Paris," Musk said in a tweet at the time. "Many others have too. Cautiously optimistic of a positive decision."

However, now the president has made his position clear -- potentially to the detriment of future generations -- the billionaire entrepreneur has also decided to make a stand by vacating his position at Trump's advisory council.

In a tweet on Thursday, Musk reacted to the news that Trump had decided to withdraw from the Paris agreement by saying "Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world."


Musk has weathered criticism in the past for having a position on Trump's advisory councils.

Despite calls to leave, Musk said that keeping direct contact with the head of the US was important to "accelerate the world's shift to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilization."

Evidently, the president was in no mood to listen this time.

Previously, the CEOs of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, HP, and Intel sent the president a letter urging him not to take the US out of the international agreement. Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of Walt Disney, has also left "as a matter of principle."

Apple CEO Tim Cook has also made his sentiments known. In a mass email to employees obtained by Axios, Cook said:

"I know many of you share my disappointment with the White House's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. I spoke with President Trump on Tuesday and tried to persuade him to keep the U.S. in the agreement. But it wasn't enough.

Climate change is real and we all share a responsibility to fight it. [...] We will keep working toward the ambitious goals of a closed-loop supply chain, and to eventually stop mining new materials altogether. Our mission has always been to leave the world better than we found it. We will never waver, because we know that future generations depend on us."

Back in February, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quit President Trump's business advisory group over the president's executive order on immigration.

How to protect your laptop in cargo when you fly (in pictures)

Editorial standards