Following President Trump’s pullout from the Paris Agreement — a move that has expectedly garnered criticism from governments, businesses and NGOs around the globe — former mayor of New York and current UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg has pledged $15 million to keep US Paris Agreement efforts alive.
The pledge was made to support the operations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretariat, particularly in its work to provide support to countries in their implementation of their Paris Agreement commitments and fill a funding gap left in the wake of President’s highly contested decision.
“Americans are not walking away from the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Bloomberg. “Just the opposite we are forging ahead. Mayors, governors and business leaders from both political parties are signing onto a statement of support that we will submit to the UN — and together, we will reach the emission reduction goals the US made in Paris in 2015. As a sign of our commitment, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with others, will make up the approximately $15 million in funding that the UN’s Climate Secretariat stands to lose from Washington. 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.”
In his speech on Thursday, Trump stated that the US will be withdrawing all support for UN climate change efforts, as well as funding for the Green Climate Fund, which provides financial support for developing countries working to meet their climate commitments. US withdrawal from the Agreement will create a significant funding gap and have far-reaching consequences unless other countries and the private sector step up to the plate. The Fund has already called on private sector companies to submit proposals to cut emissions or improve climate resilience in developing countries, for a total of $500 million in funding overall.
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“We are grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for this generous contribution. While funding from governments remains central to our work, this kind of support is crucial for the work of the Secretariat to assist nations in their efforts to implement their commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
“In order to achieve Paris in full and deliver a low-emissions, resilient and more secure future for every man, woman and child, it is very encouraging to see that all actors reaffirm their willingness to work together.”
Bloomberg isn’t the only one doubling down efforts to ensure the US fulfills its Paris commitments. Coalitions such as RE100 and Ceres and WWF’s Low Carbon USA group have also reasserted their determination to drive climate change efforts and have invited others to do the same.