Yesterday, our mayor here in Boston, Marty Walsh, released a statement that we wholeheartedly support. He stated that withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement is irresponsible and damages our nation’s reputation. We would add that it’s a repudiation of science, hurts the extraordinary growth opportunities driven by a move to a clean economy, and ignores the voice of business leaders and citizens across the political spectrum. It also abdicates what I personally see as the moral obligation to work together, regardless of political beliefs, to combat one of the greatest threats to the health and welfare of our children.
What gives me extraordinary hope in the face of this decision is the reaction of our customers and the companies like them. The leaders from thousands of powerful brands, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Microsoft, Unilever, Dell, Nike and Google, publically supported continued U.S. involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement. Less than 24 hours after the decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Disney’s CEO and Tesla’s CEO announced they would be withdrawing from President Trump’s business advisory council. Businesses, along with cities and states, are already telling the UN that they will submit their climate action plans, even if the Federal Government does not.
The decision to publicly speak out about these issues is not taken lightly, especially at organizations with complicated business ties and cautious legal teams. However, businesses have realized that addressing climate change at a global, coordinated level is critical. Through the eyes of business, addressing climate change is about managing risk, increasing resilience, driving innovation and attracting and retaining customers and employees. Fundamentally, It’s just good business.
Where Do We Go From Here?
WeSpire was built on the belief that when people come together to motivate and inspire each other to take positive action, we have the power to make a huge impact on ourselves, our companies and our society. Today, that belief is stronger than ever. In the absence of federal policies related to some of our society’s most pressing issues, business leaders have been given the opportunity and the obligation to take a stance and lead the way to positive change.
It’s a powerful opportunity, but it’s not easy. We know first-hand how critical it is to educate the workforce around global and societal issues and empower them to take actions that make a positive impact. It takes time to build a culture of sustainability and effort to encourage people to embrace new habits and behaviors. We’ve learned what works — and we’ve learned a ton about what doesn’t.
Our mission is to inspire people to build a better working world. This is clearly our role in this Revolution and we are thrilled to help anyone who needs it.