Palo Alto, California - SA-born Tesla founder Elon Musk has expressed his intention to leave White House advisory councils after US President Donald Trump said he would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
Trump decided to pull the United States from the landmark 2015 global agreement designed to fight climate change despite entreaties from US allies and corporate leaders in an action that fulfilled a major campaign pledge.
"Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world," Musk said in a Twitter post. He is a member of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, a business advisory group, and Trump's manufacturing jobs council.
Musk said on Wednesday that he had done "all I can" to convince Trump to stay in the accord, and threatened to leave the presidential advisory councils if Trump announced a US exit from the accord.
Uber Technologies Inc CEO Travis Kalanick quit the business advisory council in February amid pressure from activists and employees who opposed the administration's immigration policies.
Trump created the business advisory group in December before taking office to assist him in making policy decisions.
Asked about Musk's resignation, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox News that "anybody who read the agreement and understood it would realise that this was not really about climate, this was about US money going to other countries and it didn’t solve the climate problem."
Musk has met with Trump several times and spoken with him about the long-term goal of his company SpaceX for flights to Mars carrying humans.
The White House is planning to a hold a meeting with technology leaders on June 19, an administration spokesman said Wednesday.
General Motors said Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra would remain on the presidential advisory panel, adding that her participation "provides GM a seat at an important table to contribute to a constructive dialogue about key policy issues."
In 2013, GM signed a declaration joining other major companies arguing that responding to climate change was good business. The carmaker said on Thursday that despite the withdrawal it "will not waver from our commitment to the environment."
It was unclear whether Ford's new chief executive, James Hackett, would join Trump's panel.
On Thursday Ford spokeswoman Christin Baker said the company believes "climate change is real, and remain deeply committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our vehicles and our facilities."