November 21, 2017

Coke, Pepsi and Climate Change: Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Re “Soda Giants Back, Then Lobby Against, Public Health” (Business Day, Oct. 11):

Your description of Coke and Pepsi’s mixed messages on public health has an echo in climate change.

Coke and Pepsi have very laudable climate policies, and make strong public statements. But they lobby Congress through the American Beverage Association, which is moribund on climate (but very lively when a soda tax is proposed), and through their association, they support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an implacable foe of any meaningful climate legislation.

A result is that Coke and Pepsi’s net lobbying presence in Congress is directly adverse to their stated policies. They are not alone; the net lobbying presence in Congress of all the companies that supported a strong Paris agreement is forcefully opposed to the principles of that agreement.

It’s a problem, and if they want climate action in Congress, it needs to be solved.

By: Sheldon Whitehouse