Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and adviser to President Trump, has tweeted the President an ultimatum: honor the Paris Climate Accord, or I’m out.
Trump has made waves recently on any number of fronts, not least of which was his hinting that he intends to pull the United States out of the Paris Accord to combat climate change. The treaty would require the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28%, which some Republicans and Trump supporters consider unfair because it might hurt the American economy to a greater extent than other countries in the agreement.
For Musk, an outspoken advocate for renewable energies, leaving the Paris agreement is a deal-breaker. Many of his entrepreneurial pursuits focus on green energies, so it’s no surprise that he is not interested in helping the President make the U.S. stagnant in renewable energy progress.
On Wednesday afternoon, Musk tweeted:
“Don’t know which way Paris will go, but I’ve done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain”
When asked what he would do if Trump pulls out of the agreement, Musk didn’t hesitate with this blatant response:
“Will have no choice but to depart councils in that case”
It has been a difficult road for Musk and his involvement with the Trump administration. Though it seemed obvious from the start that his values were far from those touted by Trump and his supporters, Musk saw an opportunity to use his business success to get the ear of the President.
He has gone to great lengths so point out that his advisory role does not mean he agrees with the President. This was especially apparent when Trump attempting to push through a foreign travel ban that seemingly targeted Muslims. Musk’s decision to stay in the role after Trump’s executive order on immigration put him at odds with the leadership of some of the largest businesses in the country, including Amazon, Google, and Apple.
Whether the Paris climate agreement simply crossed a line for Musk, or if it was just the final straw in the cumulative effect of controversy under President Trump, it is apparent that Musk is ready to walk away pending the President’s decision.