Sept. 7, 2017
Nearly 200,000 Signatures Gathered Calling on Disney, Gap and PepsiCo to Stop Funding the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Walt Disney, PepsiCo and Gap Face Public Pressure Over Continued Funding of U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Reactionary Agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly 200,000 signatures have been gathered urging Disney, Gap and PepsiCo to join other Fortune 500 companies, such as Apple, Pacific Gas & Electric and CVS, that have stopped funding the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of the Chamber’s anti-climate, pro-tobacco agenda.
Earlier this year, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Gap CEO Art Peck received letters from a coalition of almost 60 international and domestic nonprofits urging them to stop funding the hyper-partisan Chamber. All of these companies claim to support action on climate change, and some of them have enacted policies against smoking and voiced support for equal pay for women. The Chamber, which has spent $1.2 billion in lobbying over the past 18 years, and $104 million in just the past year, has taken the opposite position on all of these issues.
As a result of this petition drive – organized by Public Citizen, CREDO Action, Daily Kos, Sierra Club and Corporate Accountability International – Disney, Gap and PepsiCo face growing public pressure to stop funding a trade association whose activities conflict with their own stated positions as well as the deeply held beliefs of many of their customers.
“The intensity of Hurricane Harvey is just the latest reminder that climate change is here now and must be addressed,” CREDO Deputy Political Director Josh Nelson said. “But while companies like Gap, Disney and Pepsi pay lip service to combating climate change and promote their green corporate images, they have continued to fund the climate-denying U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is time for Gap, Disney and Pepsi to follow the lead of dozens of other major corporations and part ways with the Chamber due to its climate change denial and right-wing political spending.”
“Gap, Disney and Pepsi’s protestations about their commitment to fighting runaway climate change, promoting equity in the workplace and advocating for public health are decisively refuted by their far more consequential action of remaining in the climate change-denying, workplace equity-opposing, public health-threatening Chamber of Commerce,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.
Added Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, “The public is saying, loud and clear, that American corporations can’t claim they support climate action while remaining members of one of the leading organizations undermining clean energy and climate policies in Washington. It’s unfortunate that, right now, membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce signifies a huge strike against the corporate social responsibilities of its members. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: Companies like Pepsi, Gap and Disney can leave the Chamber and make it very clear that retrograde policies are the reason why on their way out.”
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on the wrong side of history, consistently lobbying to further line the pockets of the nation’s most abusive corporations no matter the costs to people and the environment. If you stand with the Chamber, you stand with nearly every abusive industry on the planet. You can’t have it both ways,” said Cloe Franko, senior international organizer for Corporate Accountability International.
Added Mara Schechter, campaign director at Daily Kos, “Disney, Gap and PepsiCo say they support the environment and public health, but they’re funding the Chamber of Commerce, a climate-denying, anti-worker, anti-health driver of the Trump agenda. They’re hoping people won’t notice, and that they’ll maintain their own reputations. The public is not going to fall for that trick, especially not with so much at stake. It’s time for Disney, Gap and PepsiCo to put their money where their mouths are and stop funding the Chamber.”