GPM is a U.S. based organization with operations all over the world. Our prime objective is to advance sustainable development advocating a greater attention and focus on value creation in the project management profession. When an event occurs that threatens our ability to, we speak out. As a signatory to the UN’s Caring for Climate initiative and as participants at the COP21 where the Paris Agreement was agreed to, watching the U.S. withdraw was unsettling.
Dante, an Italian poet and moral philosopher wrote, “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” As we look around at our peers in the industry and at associations that represent other professions, we have to scratch our head and ask “Where are you!?” Now is not the time to put your head in the sand!
Before President Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, joining only Syria and Nicaragua, U.S. business voices mobilized and advocated that the country stay. We at GPM, along with 1,000 companies, publicly backed the Paris climate accord, together with companies such as Nike, Tesla, and Starbucks—wrote an open letter to President Trump urging him to stay.
In his announcement, Trump claimed that if the United States remained part of the Paris Agreement, it would cost $3 trillion and 6.5 million jobs over the next several decades. The reality is that The solar and wind industries are each creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy.
The decision to withdraw illustrates the inability of the new U.S. Administration, who claim to be pro-business, to believe that American businesses understand what is important and somehow need protection from change and globalization. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the letter we wrote states this.
Cause for Optimism
I waited a week to write to write this post as I wanted to observe what would happen after the announcement was made and it is encouraging to see that several states and cities have made a public declaration to support the accord and I believe eventually, the federal government will reverse its stance.
I think this because along with those state and local governments, the 1000 leading companies, and now hundreds of institutional investors, representing $17 trillion in assets, have put their foot down. We all understand that a low-carbon economy can regenerate what has been lost, reduce the risk of extreme weather events negatively impacting assets and consumers while creating efficiency, innovation, and $avings. I think this because being an architect of a better world means to design and build a future that we all want and it is in everyone’s best interest to do so.
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