Group calls out Apple’s ties with trade associations ‘stalling’ climate change action

Gelo Gonzales

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Group calls out Apple’s ties with trade associations ‘stalling’ climate change action

APPLE. The Apple logo is seen at an Apple Store, as Apple's new 5G iPhone 12 went on sale in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 23, 2020.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The Tech Transparency Project finds that the tech giant is part of several groups that have lobbied against climate change policies

MANILA, Philippines – Apple has a reputation for being an advocate for taking action against climate change. In October 2021, it reiterated its “ambitious” 2030 goal of being carbon neutral across its supply chain and products, announcing that it has doubled its suppliers that use 100% clean energy over the past year, and it has started 10 new clean energy projects

Like other tech giants such as Google and Samsung, Apple regularly makes public its vows to make its processes more environment-friendly. 

But a report published on Tuesday, May 31, by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) – an initiative of the US-based non-profit Campaign for Accountability, taking on a watchdog role over “the power, the influence and the effects of all major technology companies” – called out the company for its membership in “business associations fighting efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” 

The primary trade group being highlighted was the Texas Association of Business (TAB), which the report said had questioned whether humans are truly the cause of climate change, and has had a “long history of fighting against regulations designed to curb carbon emissions.” Apple made public its membership in the group back in 2020. 

The report points out many instances in which the group has taken stances against climate change action including stating that humans’ effects on climate change is unproven, and pushing back against regulation on emissions and greenhouse gases. The group’s moves include legal battles “against attempts to regulate pollutants, often in conjunction with energy industry groups that seek to play down the importance of addressing climate change.” 

“It’s not clear how Apple, which calls climate change ‘the defining issue of our time,’ is able to square its association with TAB with its environmental positions,” TTP said. 

Outside of the US, TTP says it also found that Apple is part of group in Europe and Japan such as the Confederation of European Business, and Keidanren (The Japan Business Federation), both of which reportedly have a history of lobbying against climate change action. 

Apple has fought against giving its customers the ability to repair their devices but reversed its stance back in November 2021, when it made available parts, manuals, and tools to individuals. The report, however, also questioned Apple’s membership in groups that it says oppose US right-to-repair laws such as the Consumer Technology Association, and CTIA – The Wireless Association. 

“Apple frequently touts its green initiatives to combat global warming,” TTP said.  “But a close look at the company’s trade associations reveals a different narrative.” 

Apple has yet to release a statement on the report. –

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.