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Apple, Disney, Microsoft among companies backing groups against US climate bill

The Guardian | Oliver Milman | Oct 1, 2021

apple fighting US climate bill - Apple, Disney, Microsoft among companies backing groups against US climate billAmazon and Microsoft also supporting groups fighting legislation despite promises to combat the climate crisis, analysis finds

Some of America’s most prominent companies, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Disney, are backing business groups that are fighting landmark climate legislation, despite their own promises to combat the climate crisis, a new analysis has found.

A clutch of corporate lobby groups and organizations have mobilized to oppose the proposed $3.5tn budget bill put forward by Democrats, which contains unprecedented measures to drive down planet-heating gases. The reconciliation bill has been called the “the most significant climate action in our country’s history” by Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the US Senate.

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Most large US corporations have expressed concern over the climate crisis or announced their own goals to cut greenhouse gases. Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s richest people, has said that the climate crisis is the “biggest threat to our planet” and the company he founded, Amazon, has created a pledge for businesses to cut their emissions to net zero by 2040. Microsoft has promised to be “carbon negative” within a decade from now and Disney is aiming to use only renewable-sourced electricity within the same timeframe.

But these leading companies, and others, either support or actively steer the very lobby groups that are attempting to sink the bill that carries the weight of Joe Biden’s ambitions to tackle the climate crisis, threatening one of the last major legislative efforts that will help decide whether parts of the world plunge into a new, barely livable climatic state.

“Major corporations love to tell us how committed they are to addressing the climate crisis and building a sustainable future, but behind closed doors, they are funding the very industry trade groups that are fighting tooth and nail to stop the biggest climate change bill ever,” said Kyle Herrig, president of watchdog group Accountable.US, which compiled the analysis.

None of the companies contacted by the Guardian would rebuke the stance of the lobby groups they are part of and none said they would review their links to these groups.

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The US Chamber of Commerce has vowed to “do everything we can to prevent this tax raising, job killing reconciliation bill from becoming law”.

Another group, the Business Roundtable, has said it is “deeply concerned” about the passage of the bill, largely because it raises taxes on the wealthy.

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