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CO Businesses Vow to Reach Paris Climate Goals Despite Trump

Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing is one of hundreds of companies, governors and mayors pledging to meet climate goals set in Paris. (M. Doxtad/Wikimedia Commons)
Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing is one of hundreds of companies, governors and mayors pledging to meet climate goals set in Paris. (M. Doxtad/Wikimedia Commons)
June 7, 2017

DENVER - Colorado companies including Western Union, New Belgium Brewing and several ski resorts have joined hundreds of U.S. mayors, governors and chief executives, all promising to make good on the nation's commitment to reach climate goals set in Paris.

A letter - including signatures from such high-profile brands as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nestle, Target and Wrangler - was released Monday.

Rebecca Cantwell, director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, said she isn't surprised President Trump's decision to pull out of the international agreement is meeting a groundswell of opposition "by mayors, by governors, by legislators, by major businesses, showing that - despite what the administration has said - we the people plan to continue to do our part in addressing climate change."

So far, Colorado's governor and nine mayors - representing Aspen, Boulder, Breckenridge, Denver, Edgewater, Lafayette, Lakewood, Longmont and Vail - have pledged to continue working to reduce climate pollution.

The Trump administration has claimed the Paris accord put the United States at a disadvantage against other countries and that withdrawing will create jobs. From a strictly business perspective, Cantwell calls Trump's decision shortsighted.

"Clean-energy sources, especially solar, are dropping dramatically in price," she said, "and really will drive the next great economic renaissance in this country if we seize the opportunity."

In Colorado, Cantwell said, solar alone employs more than 6,000 people in jobs that can't be exported or automated. According to U.S. Department of Energy estimates, fossil-fuel power plants employ some 180,000 workers nationally, compared with 375,000 jobs in solar.

The letter is online at wearestillin.com.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO