Share prices rose after President Trump’s announcement he would take the US out of the Paris climate deal.
Several business executives had argued against the move, but President Trump said it would be good for the US economy. The Dow Jones closed up 0.6%.
The move was criticised by some business leaders, including GE’s Jeff Immelt who said “industry must now lead” on climate change.
Tesla’s Elon Musk confirmed he will leave the president’s advisory council.
Before Mr Trump formally made the announcement, a slew of major companies issued statements urging him to remain in the deal.
Afterward, they expressed disappointment.
“Climate change is real,” tweeted Jeff Immelt, chief at GE. “Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”
The US withdrawal from the 2015 Paris agreement, negotiated under former US President Barack Obama and signed by 195 countries, makes good on a frequent pledge Mr Trump made on his campaign.
- Why does US business back climate deal?
- Exxon shareholders back ‘historic’ vote on climate
The US, which accounts for about 15% of global greenhouse gas emission, had committed to a 26% to 28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2025.
The US also promised $3bn in aid to poorer countries to tackle climate change problems.
In his announcement on Thursday, Mr Trump said the deal, which involved voluntary commitments, put the US at a disadvantage. He said he would be willing to re-sign under different terms.
‘Saving coal jobs’
For the US coal lobby, the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the global Paris agreement on climate change was a win, however.
Murray Energy, a coal mining company based in Ohio, applauded the move, describing it as an important part of the Trump administration’s broader environmental agenda.
“In following through on his promise, President Trump is supporting America’s uncompromising values, saving coal jobs, and promoting low-cost, reliable electricity for Americans and the rest of the World,” chief executive Robert Murray said in a statement.
Paul Bailey, the president of the coal lobbying organisation American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, said the standards established under the Obama administration were too stringent.
“We support President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement,” he said. “Meeting President Obama’s goal would have led to more regulations, higher energy prices, and dependence on less reliable energy sources.”
But the view is not shared by everyone.
Major companies, including Morgan Stanley, Unilever, Intel and big tech firms, such as Apple, had opposed withdrawal.
Tesla boss Elon Musk confirmed he would quit his seat on White House advisory groups, repeating a threat he made yesterday.
He wrote on Twitter “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
Even within the oil and gas industry, companies such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron, had pushed the administration to remain in the pact.
At Exxon’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday, chief executive Darren Woods repeated the firm’s support for the deal, saying a global challenge requires global solutions.
After the president’s announcement, Chevron also said it supported a global framework.
“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue that requires global engagement and action,” the company said.
Source: BBC News