US ski industry vows ‘We are still in’

6th June 2017, by Abi Butcher

The Aspen Skiing Company and Vail Resorts will continue to fight climate change

The Aspen Skiing Company and Vail Resorts will continue to fight climate change

Members of the US ski and snowboard industry have joined forces with businesses, states, mayors and educators across America to declare their continued support of climate action to meet the Paris Agreement in a letter headlined “We Are Still In”.

The Paris Agreement, signed in December 2015, unites nearly 200 countries around the world in a global action plan to tackle climate change. The key points are an agreement to limit greenhouse gases emitted by human activity, reviewing each country’s contribution to cutting emissions and to limiting global warming to well below 2°C. Under the terms of the agreement, rich countries vowed to help poorer nations by providing “climate finance” to help them adapt and switch to renewable energy.

On Friday 2 June, US president Donald Trump confirmed the US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, saying climate scientists “can’t even get a weather report right”.

Within hours, businesses across the US representing 120 million Americans and $6.2 trillion of the US economy signed an open letter stating “We Are Still In”. 

Vail Resorts, Aspen Skiing Company, Arapahoe Basin, Californian Ski Industry Association, Copper Mountain Ski Resort, Killington Pico Ski Resort, Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, Taos Ski Valley Inc, Telluride Ski & Golf, Vermont Ski Areas Association, Wagner Custom Skis, Burton Snowboards and Patagonia are among a huge number of businesses opposing Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

The letter states: “It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”

Vail Resorts chief executive Rob Katz said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. As a global company, Vail Resorts believes we have a unique responsibility to protect the incredible natural landscapes and environment that surround our mountain resorts and those across our planet.  Climate change is a global challenge that requires global cooperation, and it is disheartening to see the United States pull away from working with the other 194 countries that were part of the Agreement. Vail Resorts will redouble our efforts to find significant ways to minimize our carbon footprint through reducing our energy use to help address one of the most serious challenges facing our worldwide community.”

Auden Schendler, Vice President, Sustainability, Aspen Skiing Company said: “Aspen Skiing Company isn’t just opposing withdrawal from Paris. We’re going to fight it to the ground, and we’re going to implement the Paris accords ourselves, in our business, in Colorado, and as soon as possible, nationally.”

However, commentators are saying that Trump’s withdrawal from Paris agreement will motivate the private sector to take over where government is falling short.

To read the letter in full and for details on how to sign up, visit wearestillin.com



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