Bloomberg Pledges $15 Million To Help Prop Up Battered Paris Climate Deal

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will fork over $15 million to help fund money that the UN will lose after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

Bloomberg’s charitable organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies, announced Thursday that it would finance the U.S.’ share of the administrative costs of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the mechanism required to keep the nearly 200-member nation deal upright.

“Americans are not walking away from the Paris Climate Agreement. Just the opposite — we are forging ahead,” he said in a statement Thursday shortly after the president moved to leave the deal.

Trump pulled the U.S. out of the non-binding deal, which obligated the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Former President Barack Obama pledged $3 billion to help poorer countries like China and India to reduce their emissions.

India, for its part, signed the deal in 2016 under the implicit understanding that developed nations such as the U.S. would provide it with $2.5 trillion over 15 years to help reduce greenhouse gasses. Bloomberg is adding a relatively small bundle to that pot.

China and India are two of the world’s largest carbon polluters. Neither country has indicated a willingness to downsize their sizeable investments in coal production.

Bloomberg, who supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, believes that he can cobble enough money from several mayors around the country to help finance the hefty price tag attached to the complex accord.

“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 that the U.S. made in Paris in 2015,” he wrote. The former mayor is a public opponent of Trump’s environmental policies.

UN officials thanked Bloomberg for his generous offer but hinted that the deal can only be met if countries pool their resources.

“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,” Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said in response to the billionaire’s offer.

Trump’s decision means the U.S. will no longer be dropping billions of dollars into the Green Climate Fund. Nearly 40 countries pledged to shovel a total of about $10 billion into the fund to help developing nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S.’ total would have been $3.5 billion, or nearly half of the total.

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