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Bloomberg to fill gaps on US climate actions

Bloomberg to fill gaps on US climate actions

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NEW YORK, June 14, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg delivers a speech at the High-level Dialogue on U.S.-China Economic Relations in New York, the United States, on June 14, 2017. More than 30 scholars from leading think-tanks in both China and the United States gathered here on Wednesday to discuss the bilateral economic and trade relationship between the world
BY VISHAL GULATI
Madrid, Dec 11 (IANS) After Trump announced he would withdraw the US from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, former New York City Mayor and co-chair of Americas Pledge Michael R. Bloomberg on Tuesday announced here to step in to fill the leadership gap and ensure that US climate progress continued despite federal inaction.
He launched the America's Pledge initiative in June 2017, which has since released annual reports with the aim of quantifying and communicating the climate progress of nearly 4,000 cities, states, and businesses who are committed to the Paris goals.
Additionally, Bloomberg has continually worked to maintain America's climate leadership position on the international stage, committing $10 million to date to fill the funding gap to the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, and ensuring the US is represented at international climate conferences through US Climate Action Pavilions.
At the 25th annual Conference of the Parties (COP25) in this Spanish capital, Bloomberg was joined by a coalition of leading domestic and international climate voices, including UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney, to discuss the report.
Their remarks were followed by a high-level discussion of the report findings and methodology by America's Pledge vice-chair Carl Pope and report authors Nate Hultman, Director of the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland (UMD), and Carla Frisch, Principal at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).
This year's report, Accelerating America's Pledge: Going All-In to Build a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Economy for the United States, shows the potential for progress on the US emissions reductions if climate-forward leaders are elected to all levels of government -- from city halls to the White House.
The report captures the power of US states, cities, businesses, and other organizations representing nearly 70 per cent of the country's GDP to reduce emissions and help advance the country toward the Paris Agreement targets.
"The need for widespread, all-in climate action grows each day, and thankfully, so does the coalition of cities, states, businesses, universities, and others around the world who are working to lower emissions and create a more sustainable future," said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.
"Bottom-up climate action is not only growing in scale and ambition, but delivering substantial progress toward our global goals. I welcome the third annual America's Pledge report as a crucial reminder of the power of collective climate action from leaders across economic sectors and levels of government."
"While the Trump administration refuses to do the job, America's Pledge is uniting cities, states, and businesses in the urgent fight against climate change - and we are getting results," said America's Pledge co-chair Mike Bloomberg.
"Our new report shows that if America goes all-in on climate action, then we can accelerate the progress we're already making -- and fulfill our commitment under the Paris Agreement."
(Vishal Gulati is in Madrid to cover COP25. He can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)
--IANS
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