The following remarks were delivered by Mike Bloomberg at the 2021 Leaders Summit on Climate on April 23, 2021.
Hello, everyone. I want to thank President Biden and his Administration for bringing us all together.
Let me also thank the national leaders taking part – including everyone who came to the summit armed with ambitious new goals for cutting emissions.
The simple fact is: We can’t wait for COP26 to take action. That’s why this gathering is so important. We have a chance – right here, today – to demonstrate what strong leadership really looks like. Yes, it’s about setting ambitious goals. But it’s also about bringing everyone, from every part of the world, together – and working as a team to meet them. Not just in government, but in the private sector, too.
Now, I want to emphasize something that I hear all the time from mayors, and from CEOs too. They say: We’re ready to do more. We want to do more. But we need more help. Sometimes they need more funding. Sometimes they need more authority. And sometimes they need regulatory changes.
You won’t always agree with them, of course. But I urge you to listen to them, because if you look at the data, cities and businesses hold the key to defeating climate change.
They are responsible for the vast majority of emissions. So helping them – and incentivizing them – them to take action really is critical. The more action they take, the faster we can make progress.
At Bloomberg Philanthropies, we’ve been working to help cities raise their ambitions, and help spread solutions that work around the world. And our company has been working to help the market move more capital to green projects in every global region, by bringing greater transparency to climate risks and opportunities.
The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures sets standards that help companies manage risks, and that empower investors to direct more capital to companies that are leading the way. We can’t beat climate change without a historic amount of new investment. And that will only happen if governments, investors, and business leaders have the information they need to make smart decisions.
Working with partners, Bloomberg Philanthropies has also helped retire over 60 percent of all coal-fired power plants in the U.S. – and half of EU’s coal plants, too. Coal plants are the single biggest contributor to climate change and they spew toxic, deadly pollution into the air.
The good news is: Clean energy is increasingly cheaper than coal in much of the world. That’s one reason why more cities, states, and businesses are committing to reach net-zero emissions – including our company, which is on track to reach net-zero by 2025.
There’s a lot of good work happening in both the public and private sectors – just not enough. We have to do more, faster, to cut emissions – and by acting boldly, and urgently, we can build a lot of momentum going into COP 26 this November.
We’re all in this together – so thank you for coming together for this summit. All the best.