Mike Bloomberg, as U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Change, announced his support for U.N. Secretary General António Guterres’ initiative to stop the development of new coal-fired power plants after 2020. The following are his remarks as delivered at the Climate Action Summit for the 74th U.N. General Assembly in New York, New York on September 23, 2019.
“Let me start by thanking President Piñera of Chile and President Niinistö of Finland for their leadership on this issue. They are spearheading the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, which is also working to increase transparency around climate risk. And President Piñera’s leadership will be critical in the upcoming climate summit in Chile. That summit is an excellent opportunity to put today’s commitments today into action.
“Let me also thank President Trump for coming today to the United Nations. Hopefully our discussions here will be useful for you when you formulate climate policy.
“The most important thing that we can do is to phase out coal as fast as possible – and we are making progress. Since we started Beyond Coal in 2011, more than half United States’ coal plants have closed: 297 out of 530. Through Beyond Carbon, we’ll close every remaining one of those.
“Net-zero emissions is an ambitious but achievable goal – and non-state actors can lead the way. A growing number of U.S. cities, and states, and businesses have committed to reaching net-zero emissions. These states would by themselves form the world’s fourth-largest economy.
“The Secretary General has called for no new coal plants to be built after 2020. That would be an enormous step in the fight against climate change – and it would save a lot of lives.
“So today, Bloomberg Philanthropies is expanding our global coal work – with the aim of reaching the goal the Secretary General has called for: no new coal plants after 2020.
“We will work with countries around the world to accelerate plans for new clean energy projects. We’ll bring together public and private sector leaders to share technical expertise and help make the economic case for clean energy.
“We have a lot of work to do ahead – but there’s nothing we can’t achieve if all sectors of society work together. Thank you.”