WATCH | Many of the largest companies in the U.S. have vowed to follow the guidelines laid out in the historic Paris climate accord-with or without the government.
As politicians bicker over climate change, businesses are taking the lead.
This week, President Trump made good on campaign promises and yanked America out of the Paris climate accord. The president had pledged to do so during his presidential campaign, arguing the deal harmed the U.S. economy.
After the Rose Garden announcement, America's business leaders spoke out.
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quick to follow through on quitting Trump's business council.
Goldman Sachs' chief executive sent out his first tweet stating his disappointment.
Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.— Jeff Immelt (@JeffImmelt) June 1, 2017
General Electric's CEO assured stakeholders that "climate change is real."
The U.S. agreed to sign on to the deal under President Obama.
The deal was signed by 195 countries committed to lowering carbon emission levels. The goal is to reduce global emissions before the average temperature on Earth rises more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
As Circa has reported, under the Obama administration, the U.S. agreed to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
If you're curious, the only other countries not in the Paris deal are Syria and Nicaragua.
In his Thursday afternoon address, President Trump doubled down on his belief that the Paris agreement was bad for U.S. businesses, calling it a "major economic wound" that would make it "very hard to compete with other countries."
He also called the non-binding deal "draconian" in nature.
Meanwhile, economists and business leaders have said pulling out of the deal will put the U.S. at a disadvantage.
Geoffrey Heal, professor of economics and finance at Columbia Business School, told the Associated Press, "There will be no positive impact on jobs, there could even be some loss of jobs."
The economist added, "Trump has spoken about putting coal miners back to work but that isn’t going to happen because ... coal is just too expensive and too dirty."
From oil companies like ExxonMobil to tech firms like Microsoft, it seems most large businesses backed the deal.
In fact, Exxon's shareholders approved in a landmark vote to require the oil giant to begin disclosing climate-related risks to its business, Inside Climate News reports.
Other brands to have reaffirmed their commitment to the deal include: Walmart, Apple, Shell Global, Morgan Stanley, Disney, Coca-Cola, National Grid, Dow Chemical, Salesforce, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, 3M and Cargill. The list goes on.
And they've said they'll self-regulate if they have to.
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