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Patagonia CEO was right to call out corporate hypocrisy on climate change

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As the climate, tax, and healthcare package now known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has made its way closer to passage than at any time previously thought possible in its 18-month existence, both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable—a group of almost 200 CEOs from companies such as Apple, Walmart, and GM who back in 2019 pledged to address societal concerns alongside shareholder interests—have voiced opposition to it.

The bill, though significantly pared back from previous iterations, still includes hundreds of billions in funding for climate and energy programs, making it a historic investment in addressing climate change.

In response, Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert asked corporate members of those groups to put up or shut up when it comes to climate action.

“Many companies that belong to these organizations talk a big game on climate—just look at their websites,” Gellert wrote in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday. “They should no longer remain silent while the Chamber and Business Roundtable do their dirty work. If you talk about how your company is going to protect the planet, you need to pay your fair share to help scale solutions for things like clean power, transportation, and manufacturing.”

BRT strongly opposes tax proposals that would discourage investment in the U.S. We call on Congress to reject the proposed book minimum tax that would undermine proven bipartisan incentives that encourage capital investment.

— Business Roundtable (@BizRoundtable) July 29, 2022

The sticking points in the legislation that created this dissonance are the corporate tax increases contained in the bill, such as ones that would have seen rates for those companies with $1 billion or more in profits pay at least 15%. Members of the Business Roundtable, like Google, Pepsi, and Chipotle, have invested tens of millions in making their own operations more sustainable—and creating stylish marketing materials to promote their efforts—yet they stop short of publicly advocating for pro-climate policy and substantial, broader change.

The compromised version that now seems to have the support of all Senate Democrats removes a lot of money the government could have........

© Fast Company


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