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Patagonia, REI Co-op and The North Face React to Supreme Court Limiting EPA’s Ability to Regulate Carbon Emissions

The U.S. Supreme Court is the subject of more polarizing headlines today, this time for its controversial decision that’s widely considered detrimental to the fight against climate change.

Today, in a 6-3 vote — with the conservatives in the majority and liberals dissenting — the U.S. Supreme Court stated Congress, not the Environmental Protection Agency, has the authority to cap carbon dioxide emissions levels, which would result in a transition away from coal-fired plants and toward cleaner energy sources.

As expected, powerhouses in the outdoor — an industry defined by environmental stewardship — including Patagonia, REI Co-op and Keen, have responded. Also, Allbirds, a leader in sustainable sneakers, has weighed in.

Below, leading retailers and brands offer their thoughts. FN will provide updates as brands and retailers continue to offer their thoughts.

Allbirds

After calling the U.S. Supreme Court ruling “deadly,” Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Joseph Zwillinger outlined via LinkedIn what he thinks can combat climate change with bipartisan legislation in 13 steps. In the steps, Zwillinger said the best solution is simplify the U.S. Harmonized Tax System of duties to have one duty per origin country using a sliding scale by carbon emissions of the country’s grid. He also explained the duties should be set to be equivalent to current duties as a percentage of U.S. GDP (approximately 2%) to prevent inflationary impact, and a 10-year implementation timeline should be implemented for change. What’s more, Zwillinger suggested a tax on imported barrel of oils or derivatives with $2 per barrel surcharge, which he said would generate roughly $14 billion per year in investible revenue, and then reinvest the tax proceeds into low carbon intensity grid infrastructure in the U.S. With these steps, Zwillinger said as climate change is reversed, U.S. duties will shrink to zero, reducing burden on the U.S. consumer for prices and on the world for emissions.

Click here to read Zwillinger’s plan in its entirety.

Keen

Steve McCallion, Keen SVP of global marketing and creative, responded to FN’s request for comment via email.

“Climate change represents one of the biggest challenges of our time. The Supreme Court’s decision to restrict the EPA’s ability to limit climate change is mind boggling. From the beginning, Keen has always been committed to reducing our footprint and protecting our planet for future generations. We will continue to do our part and to challenge the industry to do the same regardless of this decision.”

Patagonia

Patagonia reacted to the Supreme Court decision via Twitter.

“Today’s SCOTUS decision is a real blow to our nation’s ability to address the climate crisis that affects all of us, particularly historically marginalized communities. Despite the misguided opinions of this Court, we’re more determined than ever to save our home planet,” the brand wrote.

REI Co-op

Leading retailer REI Co-op released a lengthy statement concerning the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today.

“Like all those who care about the outdoors, our changing climate, the health of our communities and future generations, we are deeply disappointed and disturbed by the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA,” the company said via statement. “This ruling dramatically limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants and imperils our nation’s ability to meet its climate commitments.”

The statement continued, “Climate change poses an existential threat to humanity, especially the frontline communities nearest to these types of power plants. As climate-fueled disasters intensify, droughts worsen, and temperatures reach record levels, federal response is more urgent than ever. This decision makes climate action unnecessarily harder.”

REI encouraged its community to implore Congress “to harness nature’s best solutions to the climate crisis” by providing a landing page that allows for messages to be sent to government officials.

The North Face

The North Face responded to FN’s request for comment via email.

“Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision is another reason to work even harder to protect the values that we believe in. Our planet is at stake, and this decision sets us back at a moment in history when climate progress matters more than ever before. Despite today’s ruling, we must protect the places we love by continuing to prioritize cutting emissions, changing the way we create products, and advocating for policies and laws that recognize climate change for what it is: the biggest existential threat to our planet,” the company wrote.

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