Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger Quit the White House Business Advisory Council
Leading up to President Donald Trump’s decision on whether to remain as a part of the Paris climate accord or not, Tesla CEO Elon Musk declared that he would leave the White House business advisory council if the President did decide to withdraw.
As President Trump announced his intention to have the United States withdraw from the Paris climate accord yesterday, Musk proved to be a man of his word, formally resigning from the advisory council. However, Musk was not alone in his departure.
Robert Iger, the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, also announced that he would be leaving the White House business advisory council.
Yesterday afternoon, President Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. The agreement, drafted in 2015, is designed to combat climate change by setting goals for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The United States will join Nicaragua and Syria as the only members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to deny participation in the agreement. For its part, Nicaragua avoided signing the Paris climate agreement because it believed the measure did not go far enough in punishing nations that did not meet goals and standards. The Central American nation plans to be 90% renewable by 2020.
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Leading up to the President Trump’s decision, Musk stated that he had done all he could to convince the president to keep the U.S. as an active member in the accords. After the announcement was made on Thursday, Musk announced his departure from the advisory council on Twitter:
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
Shortly after Musk announced his departure, Iger confirmed that he was departing from the advisory council as well.
As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) June 1, 2017
Musk and Iger are not the first members of Trump’s business advisory group to depart. In February, Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber Technologies, left the council amid increasing pressure from his company’s employees regarding the President’s proposed travel ban.
The White House business advisory council was formed in December by President Trump, with the goal of having major leaders in the business sector of the country assist him in shaping policy decisions. The council is headed by Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone Group LP.
Several members of the council who had reservations regarding President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords decided to remain as a part of the council, at least for the time being. Among them was Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors.
Barra stated that she believed it was important to stay a part of the council, as membership “provides GM a seat at an important table to contribute to a constructive dialogue about key policy issues.” It is currently unknown if the new CEO of Ford, James Hackett, will pursue a spot on the council as well.
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Meanwhile, business leaders from outside of the council had criticisms to share regarding the U.S. departure from the Paris agreements. In his first post on Twitter ever, Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, denounced Trump’s decision regarding the Paris climate accords.
Today’s decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world. #ParisAgreement
— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) June 1, 2017
According to an administration spokesperson, the White House is currently planning to hold a special meeting with technology leaders on June 19. It is currently unknown if Elon Musk plans to attend said meeting.
News Source: Reuters
Zachary Berry currently resides in the Dayton, Ohio area. However, he enjoys traveling from place to place, as he was born in Oklahoma City and has also lived in Albuquerque and Orlando (such is the life of a military brat). Zachary graduated from Ohio University with a major in Strategic Communication, which is fancy talk for advertising and public relations. Beginning his career at The News Wheel as a lowly intern, he was able to climb his way to the top, eventually claiming his place within the last cubicle on the left. Other jobs that Zachary has held include driving around a safari truck at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When he’s not putting his nose to the grindstone, Zachary enjoys watching and critiquing movies and television. See more articles by Zachary.