With a $50 million commitment over four years, Bloomberg Philanthropies is joining the Sierra Club in its effort to effectively retire one third of the nation's aging coal fleet by 2020, replacing it with clean energy. The partnership, announced July 21, 2011, reflects Bloomberg Philanthropies' vision on climate change: that progress will come not from national governments and international bodies, but instead by driving action at the city and local level.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies grant of $50 million over four years will help fuel the Beyond Coal mission to clean the air, end the coal era, and accelerate the transition to cleaner, cost-effective energy sources.
The need to move beyond coal is clear from its hidden costs. Coal is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and coal’s pollution contributes to four out of the five leading causes of mortality – heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory illness.
Powered by the additional resources of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Beyond Coal campaign will work to retire one third of the nation’s coal fleet by 2020, by making sure current environmental laws are enforced, by helping local communities that oppose existing plants, and by encouraging the use of alternative power sources. The gift will allow the campaign to expand from 15 to 45 states – and among other things, help Sierra reach their goal of cutting 30% of coal energy production by 2020.
Pollution from coal plants has been linked to asthma attacks, toxic mercury, and more. Coal-related pollution leads to over 12,000 emergency-room visits each year. Join the fight for cleaner air and a healthier environment. Join Mike Bloomberg and take the Beyond Coal pledge:
In another huge victory for public health, the people of Chicago will soon breathe easier. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Midwest Generation announced the planned retirement of the Fisk and Crawford coal plants, two of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the heart of Chicago’s Southwest side.
We are witnessing the end of our dependency on coal and the move toward a cleaner energy future. Factors including competition from less expensive domestic resources and rising coal prices are causing industry players to predict that the use of coal will significantly decrease in the coming decades.