Why Four Tech Giants Are Backing EPA in High Stakes Climate Fight

Google building

(Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg)

Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft are backing the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s domestic efforts to combat climate change and say “delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms.”

In a “friend of the court” brief filed April 1 in federal appeals court, the companies say “accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will produce multiple benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to natural disasters, and the health of the global environment.”

At issue is the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to significantly curb carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s fleet of existing power plants. Dozens of entities, including business groups, more than half the states and the coal industry, have asked a federal appeals court to overturn the regulation.

But the tech giants said accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources is needed to adequately tackle climate change and makes business sense. They also said their own efforts to responsibly harness electricity could be applied more broadly to entities regulated by the EPA’s rule.

“By limiting emissions of carbon dioxide from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, the [Clean Power] Plan will help address climate change by reinforcing current trends that are making renewable energy supplies more robust, more reliable, and more affordable. Tech Amici welcome these developments,” the tech companies said in the brief.