'Time to act on climate change' says Apple's Tim Cook

Complacency kills

time to act on climate change says apples tim cook
Credit: Climate Week

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, took a stand against climate change at Climate Week NYC yesterday, saying he hopes the baby boomers won't be the first generation to leave their children worse off.

Time to act

The boomers already have. The world reached record levels of CO2 pollution in 2013. This is changing weather patterns; melting ice caps and breaking the food chain. There is no way to turn back the clock.

Despite this reality well-financed climate change deniers continue to peddle their fantasy arguments against taking action. Their arguments are as unacceptable as those in favor of racism, sexism or the health benefits of smoking. Ignore them.

Climate change denial is subtle. They say Apple shouldn't take a public stand against the true terrorism of climate change.

Cook rejects them: "On climate, human rights, education, we [Apple] care deeply about those and we know we won't make enough of a difference if we only solve these problems in our little world," he said.

The big picture

Cook's Apple watch has seen green executive hires; huge investments in renewable energy; the promotion of environmental transparency and attempts to eradicate harmful substances from the manufacturing supply chain.

“We’re building a new headquarters that will, I think, be the greenest building on the planet. It’ll be a center for innovation, and it’s something clearly our employees want and we want," said Cook.

That's all good, but everyone has a part to play. "I'm an optimist," said Cook. "I think consumers are really smart and I think the vast majority of the world wants to do the right thing."

Green is good business

Some excuse their own complacency by claiming that economic reality means they can either focus on economy or on the environment, but not both.

Cook disagrees: "Too many people say it's this or that," he said. "We've found that if you set the bar high then its possible to do both."

There's a business case for change to prove that green makes economic sense.

Climate Week saw the launch of We Mean Business, a business-focused climate change pressure group that claims companies investing in low carbon technologies are seeing a 27 percent Internal Rate of Return on average.

Even China now recognizes it must act. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli is at Climate Week, as Chinese state media reports:

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