Apple, Amazon and Other Tech Giants Opposing U.S. Climate Bill: Report

According to a report from watchdog group Accountable.US, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Disney, and a number of other big-name corporations are actively backing business groups that are lobbying against a monumental climate bill in the U.S. — reports The Guardian.

Numerous corporate lobby groups have taken up arms against President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion USD budget bill that aims to turn the U.S. electricity system carbon neutral, fund the establishment of carbon-free nuclear energy facilities, and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.

What’s alarming, however, is the fact that the groups and organizations lobbying to kill this bill, which is already facing mounting opposition from Republicans, are funded and backed by big household names that have, in one way or another, vowed to combat the climate crisis. The bill, if passed, would exact higher taxes on the rich.

Apple has been outspoken on the climate emergency and has taken a number of measures to decrease its own carbon footprint. In 2013, Apple transitioned all of its data centres to 100% renewable energy, and in 2019 received a Global Climate Action Award from the United Nations for its efforts in combating climate change.

Jeff Bezos, former CEO of Amazon and the wealthiest man in the world, pledged $10 billion USD of his personal wealth last year to fight climate change. The eCommerce giant also became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the U.S. earlier this year.

The Business Roundtable, a group comprised of company chief executives including Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Andy Jassy, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, and Exxon’s Darren Woods, has said it is “deeply concerned” about the bill, largely because it intends to raise taxes on the wealthy.

Apple seems to be developing a habit of going against the very virtues it champions — earlier in the year, the iPhone maker announced plans for a new Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) detection system that would scan users’ photos, messages, and iCloud data, giving rise to concerns over user privacy.

The US Chamber of Commerce, the lobby group at the vanguard of this assault, includes executives from Microsoft, Intuit, United Airlines, and Deloitte and has promised to “do everything we can to prevent this tax-raising, job-killing reconciliation bill from becoming law.”

Other lobby groups comprised of companies like Disney, FedEx, Verizon, Bayer, and AstraZeneca are executing advertisement blitzes against the legislation.

“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 Accountable.US.

“Hiding behind these shady groups doesn’t just put our environment at risk — it puts these companies’ household names and reputations in serious jeopardy,” he added.