October 7, 2009

Apple Quits Chamber of Commerce over Climate Change Disagreement

Corporate giant Apple resigned from the US Chamber of Commerce, as further separation over the group's resistance to hard-hitting climate change rules continues to widen.

The firm "supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the chamber at odds with us in this effort," said Apple vice president Catherine Novelli, on Tuesday to Yahoo News.

Apple is the fourth US company to leave the group over the topic of climate change. Pacific Gas and Electricity, PNM Resources and Exelon have also resigned.

"We would prefer the chamber take a more progressive stance on this critical issue and play a constructive role in addressing the climate crisis," Apple said in a public letter dated October 5.

"However, because the Chamber's position differs so sharply with Apple's, we have decided to resign our membership effective immediately."

Chamber president Thomas Donohue stated that Apple was simple confused about the chamber's goals.

"I am sorry to learn of Apple's resignation," Donohue wrote to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "The US Chamber of Commerce continues to support strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change."

The chamber disliked a draft climate change bill currently in the office of the US Senate that wants to cut greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020.
The House of Representatives passed this draft in June, making it a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels in 2020, and 83% by 2050.

The bill "will cause Americans to lose their jobs and shift greenhouse emissions overseas, negating potential climate benefits," Donohue said to Yahoo News, mentioning "numerous" studies.

"An effective climate change response must include all major CO2 emitting economies, promote new technologies, emphasize efficiency, ensure affordable energy for families and businesses, and defend American jobs while returning our economy to prosperity," stated Donohue.

The chamber calls itself the world's biggest business federation with over three million members.

"While we'll continue to represent the broad majority of our membership on this goal, we recognize that there are some companies who stand to gain more than others with the current options on the table," noted chamber spokesman Eric Wohlschlegel.


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