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One simple but powerful thing you can do to fight climate change and the smoky air that comes with it

· By The UNFK Team

As wildfire smoke chokes the air in large portions of Canada and the Eastern U.S., you might be asking whether or not there’s anything you can really do about it. 

Yes, there absolutely is. 

When we at UNFK compiled all the environmental information on big companies for the UNFK database, a clear pattern emerged. We saw that many companies in the database were being profoundly hypocritical, especially those like Google and Microsoft that are known for their ambitious environmental initiatives.

Microsoft, Google, and hundreds of other powerful U.S. companies belong to an industry trade group called the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that aggressively lobbies Congress and other institutions against strong environmental policies. 

That means that companies like Microsoft and Google can talk a lot about how environmentally minded they are while their trade group pressures politicians and other gatekeepers to vote against strong environmental protections. They're outsourcing their dirty work, in other words.

The folks at Harvard Law noticed the same hypocrisy. They said, “[M]any of the companies that support ambitious climate policies neglect to hold their trade associations accountable for their obstructive lobbying on climate issues, in direct contradiction of their own climate targets and advocacy efforts.”

What that means is that even as steadily rising temperatures dry out the Earth’s forests and wildfire duration and intensity increase as a result, the leaders of some of the most powerful companies in the world are choosing to remain a part an organization that is blocking the exact laws we need to fight climate change and have clean, breathable air. In fact, policy experts say the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s activities directly mirror the lobbying of fossil fuel interest groups

Companies respond to public pressure. So, one simple but incredibly powerful thing you can do is to demand that these companies leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Here are ten companies and their PR contacts to start with: 

When you contact these companies, here’s an example of something you can say: 

“Hi there. The smoky air being caused by the wildfires in Canada right now is prompting me to reach out to (Company Name) to do more to fight climate change. For instance, I notice that (Company Name) chooses to remain a part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization with a history of fighting strong environmental policy. I urge (Company Name) to quit the Chamber today and clear the path for the kind of laws we need to have clean, breathable air. Will (Company Name) leave the Chamber today?” 

If you’d like to see which other companies in our database are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, visit our full database. Click on the name of any company there to see that company's known affiliations with anti-environment trade groups.