Mike Bloomberg 2020

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International Climate Priorities

Mike Bloomberg is one of America’s leading climate activists, and plans to put an unprecedented focus on climate in the general election, and make climate one of his top priorities as president. His domestic climate agenda, which will be announced in further detail in coming weeks, builds on a strong record of implementing and advocating for specific, proven solutions that cities, states, businesses and environmentalists have adopted to speed up progress on climate.

Mike Bloomberg speaks at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 in New York City.
Mike Bloomberg speaks at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019 in New York City.

Mike’s climate agenda will include both international and domestic initiatives. Highlights of his international climate initiatives include:

1. Immediately re-join the Paris Agreement and meet the targets science recommends.

  • Mike will notify the U.N. to re-enter the Paris Agreement and significantly increase the U.S. commitment to reduce emissions to lead the world by example, aiming to meet the targets science tells us are necessary to reverse climate change and remain at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. He will work with mayors and governors to mobilize citizens around the country to come out in force and show the world that the U.S. is coming back stronger than before.
  • Consult with cities, states, and tribal governments to create a national roadmap to achieve the new 2030 target, and hold immediate talks with the top 20 emitting countries to bring them into alignment as well.
  • Hold countries accountable for their emissions reductions targets, and ensure the data needed to measure their progress toward these targets is transparent to the public. Provide technical assistance to countries that need help in determining and achieving their emissions reductions targets.
  • Restore U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund, so that the developed countries meet and exceed their goal to contribute $100 billion a year to developing countries, and ensure that this funding enables these countries to access affordable clean energy and strengthen their resilience to natural disasters.
  • Achieve reductions in all greenhouse gases, including harmful refrigerants, methane, and black-carbon emissions. Submit the Kigali Amendment to the Senate for ratification; improve satellite detection of methane leaks worldwide; reinstate U.S. leadership on the Arctic Council and prioritize the removal of black carbon from the atmosphere; and strengthen efforts to reduce emissions from the shipping and aviation industries.

2. Make climate change a top priority of U.S. foreign policy, and intensify U.S. and international actions to stop the expansion of coal and otherwise lower emissions.

  • Use trade and security agreements to encourage all countries with whom we have diplomatic relations to have verifiable plans to reduce emissions according to the Paris Agreement.
  • Calculate the costs of U.S. climate change efforts and apply a corresponding border adjustment – a charge on imports and a tax break for exports – for emissions-intensive goods.
  • Work with other countries to jointly end export assistance for fossil fuel investments.
  • Hold governments accountable and penalize corporations responsible for deforestation and other practices that increase climate change and rob indigenous peoples of their lives and communities.
  • Mandate the disclosure of all climate-related risks, including the full cost of retiring fossil-fuel assets, and greenhouse gas reporting. Furthermore, institute stress testing of financial institutions, including banks. Work with financial regulators around the world to do the same, and standardize these actions.
  • Encourage the G20 and the Financial Stability Board to develop a Task Force that would bring financial institutions together with multilateral and national development banks to finance clean energy and resilience projects in developing countries.

3. Protect national security, and ensure that the world’s most vulnerable people are kept safe from the impacts of climate change.

  • Establish a precedent for supporting people permanently displaced by climate change by creating an entry point to apply for refugee status in the United States at a minimum.
  • Make funding clean energy and resilience a priority for U.S. development assistance programs in the President’s annual budget request.
  • Establish an Office of Climate Security in the White House to coordinate climate-related strategies in intelligence, defense, development and diplomacy, and will include civilian and military staff.
  • Lead a new council bringing together all research-focused federal agencies, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to work together on R&D challenges affecting the most vulnerable to climate change.
  • Put military bases at home and abroad on a path to self-sufficiency by improving the resilience of all infrastructure that the military relies on at home and abroad from the effects of climate change, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Strengthen military bases at home and abroad to make them resilient to the effects of climate change.

A Record on Climate Change:

As mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg spearheaded PlaNYC – an unprecedented effort to combat climate change locally, bringing together over 25 city agencies to create a greener, greater New York. New York City planted more than 800,000 new trees, banned the use of the dirtiest heating oils, implemented the most aggressive mandatory energy efficiency program for large buildings in the U.S., and instituted bus rapid transit lines as well as a major bike-sharing initiative. These efforts have reduced the city’s carbon footprint by 14% since 2005, and made New York City’s air cleaner than it has been in more than 50 years.

In 2010, he was elected Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and as President of the Board. C40 is a network of large cities from around the world committed to taking local actions to address climate change globally. Under his leadership, C40 adopted a new emphasis on accountability.


In 2014, he was appointed United Nations Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. In 2018, his title was changed to reflect his expansive work with not just cities but also states, regions, non-governmental organizations and businesses to combat climate change. Mike is now UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Special Envoy for Climate Action.

Mike has worked to involve the financial community in fighting climate change, serving as chair of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and chair of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. At the UN Secretary-General’s request, Mike recently formed the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative with other influential private-sector leaders to accelerate investments in clean energy and climate protection.

Mike has taken on the coal industry to accelerate the transition to clean energy in the U.S. Before Trump took office, this had reduced U.S. emissions to their lowest level in 20 years.

Mike’s extensive work with U.S. cities on climate change includes the American Cities Climate Challenge, which helps 25 of the largest U.S. cities reduce emissions from buildings and transportation. He also recently launched Beyond Carbon, which is working to accelerate the retirement of coal plants and stop the construction of gas plants. The initiative brings his total investment in the fight against climate change to $1 billion.

And, following a merger between the Bloomberg-founded Compact of Mayors and EU-founded European Covenant of Mayors, Bloomberg helped to form the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, an international alliance of over 10,000 cities and local governments in more than 130 countries working to meet and exceed the Paris agreement objectives. Mike is the Co-Chair of the G-COM.

After President Trump announced his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Mike co-founded America’s Pledge with former California Governor Jerry Brown, galvanizing a coalition of nearly 4,000 cities, states, businesses, and organizations to continue America’s commitment to reducing emissions. Since then, America’s Pledge has submitted the unofficial annual U.S. climate progress report to the United Nations and, for the past two years, Bloomberg Philanthropies has paid the U.S. share of the UN climate change budget.

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