Given the incomprehensible decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, it was great to see the amount of support that still exists for the Agreement, both in the U.S. and around the world.
Several world leaders have questioned Trump’s decision, including Angela Merkel of Germany and Emmanuel Macron of France. Several U.S. governors and the mayors of several large cities have also pledged to continue their support for the Agreement. There has also been an outcry from business leaders, from Elon Musk (Tesla) to Tim Cook (Apple) to Brad Smith (Microsoft), Jeff Immelt (General Electric) to Sundar Pichai (Google) to Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs) to Sir Richard Branson (the Virgin Group) to Marcie Frost (CALPERS).
But one leader has stood out against Trump’s decision, and announced a commitment of up to $15 million to support the operations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretariat, including its work to help countries implement their commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
As you might have guessed, that leader is Mike Bloomberg, who serves as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.
Here is his statement:
“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 U.S. 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 U.N.’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.”
I just published a blog post last week about the chance I had to meet Mike Bloomberg, since he was the commencement speaker at Villanova. I’ve also written before how much I admire Bloomberg‘s willingness to not only speak out on causes he feels strongly about (gun control, the environment, education, public health, the arts, and government innovation) but his willingness to also provide financial support for those causes.
So thank you Mike Bloomberg for your support of the Paris Agreement.
Trump’s disastrous decision might just be what it took to unite the world to take better care of our environment.