Michael Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, announced on Sunday that his Bloomberg Philanthropies would contribute $4.5 million to the operations of the UN Climate Change Secretariat in an effort to ensure the United States will honor its Paris Climate Agreement.
After being appointed as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action in March, it is unsurprising that Michael Bloomberg is making swift moves to back up his appointment. Announced on Sunday, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ $4.5 million in support of the operations of the UN Climate Change Secretariat is intended to fulfil a promise made by Bloomberg in June of 2017 to make up the shortfall in funding that stems directly from President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Specifically, the newly appointed $4.5 million will provide the UN Climate Change Secretariat with 60% of the anticipated United States’ government support in 2018. This fills in the gap that arose when the US Congress passed its omnibus spending bill on March 23, which only allocated $3 million to the UN agency, instead of the approximately $7.5 million that had been provided in previous years. According to Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bloomberg will make additional funds available if the US government continues to fail to pay its part of the UN climate budget in 2019.
“The US pledged to work with the rest of the world to fight climate change under the Paris Agreement, and that includes providing our fair share of the funding to help countries reach their goals,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and three-term mayor of New York City. “Our foundation will uphold our promise to cover any cuts to UN climate funding by the Federal government – and the American people will uphold our end of the Paris Agreement, with or without Washington.”
“When countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise, they also recognized that achieving that goal would take broad-based global climate action in all sectors, public and private,” added Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. “I welcome this generous contribution from Bloomberg Philanthropies as an important, practical recognition of our need to work together, and to step up our response to climate change.”
Michael Bloomberg has been a staple of the climate change movement over the past decade, and since Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement, Bloomberg quickly became one of the faces of United States involvement, along with California Governor Jerry Brown. Bloomberg was one of those involved in the We Are Still In declaration, which took US involvement in the Paris Agreement from a national issue and made it a state- and city-level issue, and along with Governor Brown helped to create America’s Pledge, an initiative to quantify the sub-national actions being taken to meet the Paris Agreement across the US. Michael Bloomberg also provided the majority of the funding to support the US Climate Action pavilion in Bonn, Germany, for the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23).
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