The world's biggest energy, industrial and tech companies are making a last-ditch effort to convince Donald Trump not to walk away from the Paris climate agreement.
In the last 24 hours, executives from the most influential corporations representing nearly every corner of the global economy -- including Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Google, DuPont, Exxon, Monsanto and Tesla -- have lobbied the White House over the issue through phone calls, letters and social media.
According to Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook personally called the White House yesterday to press Trump on staying in the landmark accord.
The Financial Times reported that ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods sent a personal letter to the president telling him the U.S. must keep "a seat at the negotiating table to ensure a level playing field."
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive at Exxon, has also been telling the president that walking away from the deal would make international diplomacy harder.
The executives believe that walking away from the international deal -- which was over two decades in the making -- would make the U.S. economy less competitive and put their businesses at risk of global trade retaliation.
"By expanding markets for innovative clean technologies, the agreement generates jobs and economic growth. U.S. companies are well positioned to lead in these markets. Withdrawing from the agreement will limit our access to them and could expose us to retaliatory measures," wrote a coalition of 25 companies, in an open letter to the president.
Trump tweeted last night that he will announce his decision about withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement at 3 p.m. today. Multiple outlets are reporting that the president is abandoning the deal; however, there's speculation that the leaks out of the administration were a trial balloon, and that the president is still weighing his options.
Administration officials have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the Paris Agreement. Trump campaigned on a promise to exit. But there's been considerable debate within the White House over the diplomatic fallout over such a dramatic decision -- debate that has flummoxed the president.
Strong support for the deal within the business community has been influential on the president, said Andrew Light, a former senior climate negotiator who worked on the Paris deal.
"As far as we understand, the concerted efforts of the business community have walked the president back from the brink. They are a powerful messenger," said Light.
"I would have thought that hearing from the Pope would be more influential," said Light. "But I think it’s the corporate side."
Since Trump took office, over 1,000 companies have signed a letter urging a "continuation of low-carbon policies to allow the U.S. to meet or exceed our promised national commitment and to increase our nation’s future ambition."
According to a tally by GTM, nearly every single executive sitting on the White House business advisory council is a strong proponent of climate action. The council includes some of the biggest corporate investors in renewable energy globally.
"To make America great again, climate action is very logical. This is a very convincing story for job creation and economic growth," declared Doug McMillon, Walmart's chief executive and White House business council member, in January.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who took some heat for sitting on the council, said he talked to the president about climate change numerous times during meetings. Musk tweeted yesterday that he would quit the council if Trump ditched the Paris climate agreement.
"All indications are that there will be incredible blowback on this from every direction," said Light.
Also this week, a Republican group called Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, released an ad featuring support from top executives for international climate action, including a few members of the White House business advisory council.