Pruit rightly identified that the Paris Agreement signed by then President Obama in 2015, leaves U.S. companies at a disadvantage competitively. He points to lower profits for U.S. companies to comply with greenhouse gas emissions standards. What that argument fails to recognize is that by doing nothing - by pretending the global warming phenomenon is unrelated to human activity - leaves our entire country at an unprecedented disadvantage against those countries that take the lead. For the sake of protecting short term profits, Pruitt would leave U.S. companies and the entire country at a disadvantage in the long-term. U.S. companies could be left behind technologically. As noted in the earlier post “U.S. Stepping Back as Rivals Plan Job-creating Investments” on February 3, 2017, investors in Asia and the Middle East are planning ever larger investments in renewable energy to replace fossil fuel sources.
Interestingly, Volkswagon (VOW: DE or VLKAY: OTC) is identified as an early adopter of the WRI-WBCSD protocol as the company attempted to standardize its emissions inventory. A less obvious adherent is International Business Machines (IBM: NYSE). IBM adopted the protocol to help account for the consumption of electricity, which is a major source of GHG emissions. However, users of IBM’s financial reports will find no reference to greenhouse gas emissions. The protocol has been simply an analytical tool to facilitate facility costs. IBM claims meaningful reduction in lowering the company’s carbon dioxide emissions from electricity by making spending decisions using analysis inclusive of GHG costs.