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Bloomberg Leads Effort to Help US Stick to Paris Deal

  • VOA News

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to media after a meeting with French president Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, March 9, 2017.

Michael Bloomberg is on a mission to ensure the U.S., one of the world’s top polluters, upholds its commitments to the Paris climate pact, even if it is not formally a part of it.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, saying the deal was too costly and would cause U.S. businesses to lose 7 million jobs by 2025.

Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has pledged up to $15 million to support the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, the agency that helps countries implement their commitments to the Paris Agreement. The money represents the amount the U.N. stands to lose from Washington, according to a statement on Bloomberg’s website.

French President Emmanuel Macron (right) Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg talk during their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, June 2, 2017.
French President Emmanuel Macron (right) Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg talk during their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, June 2, 2017.

“Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris Agreement by leading from the bottom up — and there isn’t anything Washington can do to stop us,” Bloomberg said.

Cities, states, businesses

The New York Times reports Bloomberg is also spearheading an effort by American cities, states and companies to submit a plan to the U.N., pledging to meet the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions targets.

The newspaper says the unnamed group currently includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses. The account said the group has entered negotiations with the U.N. to have its plan accepted, along with the climate plans of U.N. member-nations.

It was not immediately clear whether the group’s submission would be accepted. Christiana Figueres, a former U.N. climate official, told The Times the U.N. does not have a structure to accept such a submission.

Letter to UN

The New York Times says that in a draft letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Bloomberg wrote the U.S. “non-national actors” could achieve its emissions goals without the backing of the U.S. government.

“While the executive branch of the U.S. government speaks on behalf of our nation in matters of foreign affairs, it does not determine many aspects of whether and how the United States takes action on climate change,” he wrote.

Bloomberg also wrote, “The bulk of the decisions which drive U.S. climate action in the aggregate are made by cities, states, businesses, and civil society.”

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