SAP, a multinational software company, has left the corporate board of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), citing the group’s position on climate change as a major factor.
SAP, a German-based corporation with regional offices in the U.S., first announced that it was leaving ALEC in the German magazine Manager Magazin on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the company said the Council’s “strange policies” on climate change and renewable energy were too much for the company to put up with anymore.
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reached out to confirm this with SAP’s American spokesperson. “SAP has decided to immediately disassociate itself from ALEC,” the rep said in a statement. “The membership had been under review for some time and is now being canceled.”
In addition to ALEC’s climate denial and opposition to renewables, the SAP spokesperson also added the organization’s position on gun safety and voting rights as reasons for the software company’s departure.
ALEC, founded in 1979, is a non-governmental organization made up of policymakers and business leaders, which calls itself “one of America’s most dynamic public-private partnerships.” Its membership includes 2,000 state legislators and almost 300 corporate and private individuals, who meet regularly to craft model legislation. On average, of the 1,000 bills they help to shape every year, about 20 percent go on to become law.
In September, ALEC suffered a serious PR blow when Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, publicly announced that Google had chosen to leave ALEC, in part due to the organization’s anti-climate change agenda.
“[T]he facts of climate change are not in question anymore,” Schmidt told NPR’s Diane Rehm. “Everyone understands climate change is occurring. And the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people. They’re just literally lying.”
In the days following, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, Uber and Lyft all deserted ALEC in turn. The next week, Occidental, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, also announced that it was leaving the organization.
In losing SAP, the Huffington Post points out that ALEC has also lost Steve Searle, SAP’s representative at ALEC, who chaired ALEC’s corporate board and former chair of its Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.