Apple CEO Tim Cook Urges Action on Climate Change at United Nations Summit

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Apple CEO Tim Cook today delivered a brief speech during the 2020 Climate Ambition Summit, stressing that leaders of nations and companies around the world have a “burden to act” to address climate change during this “moment of historic urgency.” The summit is co-hosted by the United Nations, United Kingdom, and France.

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In his prepared remarks, Cook highlighted Apple’s environmental initiatives, including its global facilities being powered by 100% renewable energy and its ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality across its entire supply chain and product usage by 2030.

Cook’s full speech:

Thank you to all of the advocates and leaders joining us today. This is an important gathering, and we at Apple don’t take our presence in this group lightly. We wear it as a badge of duty. At this moment of historic urgency, every leader of nations, of companies, and of communities has a particular burden to act. This year, Apple has accelerated our progress. We became carbon neutral for our worldwide corporate emissions. Already, we’re helping 95 of our suppliers transition to 100% renewable energy, a number we continue to grow. We’ve unveiled a plan, unrivalled in its ambition, to achieve carbon neutrality for our entire supply chain and product usage by 2030 — 20 years before the goal set by the United Nations. We see every part of our device lifecycle, from design, to manufacturing, to durability and repair, to recycling, as an opportunity for environmental innovation, moving us towards our goal of a closed-loop supply chain. The choice between the bottom line and the future of our planet is a false one, and each new green innovation offers the proof. This is no time for changes of the margins. Together, we can transition to a carbon-neutral economy and usher in a new era of inclusive opportunity. This is a moment for ambition, cooperation, and leadership. We at Apple are proud to be your partner, and we call on companies and governments around the world to do all we can to make 2021 the year we turn the corner for good.

Last month, the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee said tech companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees. The committee added that the current business model for electronics is “reliant on continuous consumption, a throwaway culture and short-lived products,” and called on tech companies to embrace environmentally-friendly business models.

In a statement, Apple said that it was “surprised and disappointed” with the Environmental Audit Committee’s report, arguing that it “does not reflect any of Apple’s efforts to conserve resources and protect the planet we all share.”

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