Under Armour CEO and University of Maryland alumnus Kevin Plank condemned President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.
“Climate change continues to threaten our planet, our cities and our economies,” Plank said in the statement issued Friday. “Climate change is real and must be taken seriously by our business community, our customers, our neighbors and our elected officials.”
The United States signed the accord in 2015, along with 194 other nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the goal of combating climate change and reducing emissions. As part of the agreement, the United States had committed to cutting emissions by up to 28 percent by 2025, as well as providing $3 billion in aid to other nations by 2020.
Only two other nations — Syria and Nicaragua — are not part of the agreement.
“Sustainability has always been part of our DNA: it’s integral to how we live and work and is essential to our environment.” Plank said. “As a business leader concerned with creating American jobs, I disagree with the decision to exit the Paris accord.”
Several business leaders have publicly opposed Trump’s decision since his announcement on Thursday. In response, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger quit the White House’s Business Advisory Council. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai have also released statements denouncing the president and stating the importance of addressing climate change.
Plank’s distancing from the president comes after a February interview with CNBC, during which he praised Trump, saying “such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country.”
In response to receiving widespread backlash for his statements — including criticism from Under Armour endorser and NBA player Steph Curry — Plank took out a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun to state that Under Armour stands for diversity and equal rights and that his CNBC statement did not reflect his intent.
Plank said in Friday’s statement that he believes in “keeping one’s word and doing everything possible to execute on our commitments.
“Our word matters and it is our collective responsibility to help protect Mother Earth,” he said.