- Former New York City Mayor and current UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg will contribute $4.5 million to the UN Climate Change Secretariat to cover a portion of the funding gap created when the United States withdrew from the Paris climate accord last year.
- The contribution constitutes about 60% of the amount the U.S. initially was expected to provide in financial support this year.
- Bloomberg has promised additional funds next year if the U.S. government continues to pull back its support of the climate accord. "[T]he American people will uphold our end of the Paris Agreement, with or without Washington," Bloomberg said in a statement.
Michael Bloomberg launched the We Are Still In coalition just days after President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris accord last year. More than 2,700 non-federal public and private signatories have joined the group to declare their support of climate change initiatives. The coalition just began its We Are Taking Action campaign to encourage real climate change actions, in part through idea and resource sharing.
Last year Bloomberg pledged to help close the Paris accord funding gap, and this $4.5 million contribution puts his money where his mouth is. The money will be used for a variety of purposes including support for developing countries, addressing information technology and communication needs, and promoting climate action among cities, regions and businesses.
In January, President Trump raised the possibility that the U.S. could potentially rejoin the Paris accord at some point, if conditions become more favorable for America. Although the president has been known to change or revise his stance on some issues, stakeholders aren't holding out hope that the climate agreement will be one of the issues he rethinks. They're moving forward with action plans, and Bloomberg has already promised more funding for the UN Climate Change Secretariat next year if necessary.
The collective climate actions and monetary pledges show that cities, municipal leaders and other stakeholders can make a difference on national and global issues. "The U.S. can meet its pledge under the Paris Agreement regardless of federal inaction, while spurring additional climate and clean energy commitments from U.S. cities, states, businesses and other 'non-federal actors,'" said a Bloomberg Philanthropies statement.