Bloomberg pledges $15 million for Paris climate agreement

Philanthropist Michael Bloomberg and others will dig into their own pockets to make sure the Paris climate agreement is met, no matter what happens in Washington.

The billionaire and other "partners" pledged up to $15 million to the United Nations, the same amount the U.N. stands to lose from the United States' early withdrawal from the climate pact. The money will assist the nearly 200 other countries to keep their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and slow global warming.

The announcement was made by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bloomberg's charitable organization, on Thursday, the same day President Trump made his long-awaited decision to pull out of the 2015 agreement.

The former mayor of New York City, who is also the U.N. secretary general's special envoy for cities and climate change, didn't specify what partners will assist in the effort.

Bloomberg, who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, coupled the announcement with a resilient message to the rest of the world that Americans aren't abdicating their environmental duty.

"Americans are not walking away from the Paris Climate Agreement," he said in a statement. "Just the opposite — we are forging ahead."

Bloomberg also took a dig at the Trump administration, which has taken heat for its decision both at home and internationally. Mayors across the country have pledged to continue their fight to reduce carbon emissions in light of Trump's announcement.

"Americans will lead from the bottom up," Bloomberg said, "and there isn't anything Washington can do to stop us."

Bloomberg said the money will be directed to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the climate negotiating agency within the U.N., to fill the "significant funding gap" left by the U.S. 

Bloomberg said the administration's indication it would pull all money for U.N. climate change efforts would leave a gap in the Green Climate Fund. The fund provides billions of dollars to countries striving to meet the Paris climate agreement.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa lauded Bloomberg's commitment.

"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," she said.

On Friday, Bloomberg met with French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in Paris . Both Macron and Hidalgo came out strongly against Trump's decision to pull out of the climate agreement.

© 2017 USA TODAY


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