More than 530 US companies and 100 investors beg President-elect Donald Trump and Congress to stick with low-carbon agenda

 
Francesca Washtell
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President Elect Trump Continues His 'Thank You Tour' In Grand Rapids, Michigan
Trump has previously said he thinks climate change is a hoax (Source: Getty)

More than 530 US companies and 100 investors have signed an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump demanding that the US reaffirms its commitment to a low-carbon economy and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Corporate signatories of the letter, which is also addressed to President Obama, members of Congress and global leaders, span Fortune 500 stalwarts including Gap, Ikea North America, L'Oreal, Hilton, Hewlett Packard, Nike, Starbucks and Unilever, to small family-owned businesses.

Adidas Group, Kellogg Company, Monsanto, Ben & Jerry's, eBay, Mondelez International, Virgin, Tiffany & Co and Levi Strauss have also signed up to the pledge, signed under the "Business Backs Low-Carbon USA" banner.

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Investors who have signed the letter collectively manage more than $2 trillion (£820bn) and include the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the California State Teachers Retirement System and Trillium Asset Management.

"We want the US economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy," the statement reads.

Cost-effective and innovative solutions can help us achieve these objectives. Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness.

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Although it is unclear exactly what President-elect Trump's energy policy will be, early comments indicate he will pursue an aggressive, carbon-focused agenda.

Trump has said he will scrap Nasa's climate research centre to crackdown on "politicised" climate change (which he has also deemed a "hoax").

His advisers have said they want access to coal, gas and other resources under 56m acres of Native American reservations (which are currently federally owned) and he has also surrounded himself with oil industry tycoons, including his appointment of ExxonMobil's chief executive Rex Tillerson as secretary of state – America's top diplomatic role.

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He is set to be inaugurated as the 45th president of the US on 20 January.

"All parts of society have a role to play in tackling climate change, but policy and business leadership is crucial," said Lars Petersson, president of Ikea US.

"The Paris Agreement was a bold step towards a cleaner, brighter future, and must be protected. Ikea will continue to work together with other businesses and policymakers to build a low-carbon economy, because we know that together, we can build a better future."

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