In response to President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced a $15 million commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretariat.
The commitment is aimed at filling a significant funding gap resulting from the U.S. withdrawal from the pact as well as mitigating the steep budget cuts the president has proposed for a range of federally funded international programs, including climate initiatives. Among other things, the funds will support UNFCCC's efforts to help countries implement their commitments under the agreement. Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael R. Bloomberg, who serves as the UN secretary-general's special envoy for cities and climate change, also will work with governments and philanthropies that may be interested in supporting the framework. In addition, the foundation will help coordinate the U.S. effort, which it is calling "America's Pledge," and with its partners will submit a nationally determined contribution (NDC) — post-2020 climate actions the country intends to take to meet the long-term goals of the agreement — as signatory nations have done, and will fulfill the agreement's reporting requirements.
In announcing his decision on Thursday, Trump indicated that the administration would terminate all support for UN climate change efforts. In addition to slashing the U.S. contribution to UNFCCC's operations, the move also will cut previously promised funding for the Green Climate Fund, which provides billions of dollars to help developing countries meet their Paris commitments.
"Americans are not walking away from the Paris Climate Agreement," said Bloomberg. "Just the opposite — we are forging ahead. Mayors, governors, and business leaders from both political parties are signing onto a statement of support that we will submit to the UN — and together, we will reach the emission reduction goals the U.S. made in Paris in 2015. As a sign of our commitment, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with others, will make up the approximately $15 million in funding that the UN's Climate Secretariat stands to lose from Washington. Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris agreement by leading from the bottom up — and there isn't anything Washington can do to stop us."
"While funding from governments remains central to our work, this kind of support is crucial for the work of the secretariat to assist nations in their efforts to implement their commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement," said UNFCCC executive director Patricia Espinosa. "In order to achieve Paris in full and deliver a low emissions, resilient, and more secure future for every man, woman, and child, it is very encouraging to see that all actors reaffirm their willingness to work together."