Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael R. Bloomberg has announced the launch of a $500 million campaign to address climate change and put the United States on track toward a 100 percent clean energy economy.
Announced during Bloomberg's commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Beyond Carbon campaign will advocate for state and local policy changes, additional coal plant closures, and a stop to the building of new gas plants, as well as the election of candidates who are "climate champions." The largest coordinated campaign to address climate change in U.S. history also will work with advocates and state and local organizations to pass climate and clean energy policies, including 100 percent clean energy laws, emission targets, and timetables for phasing out climate pollution, as well as programs to expand low-carbon transit, accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles, and promote low-carbon manufacturing; grow the climate movement by expanding support for grassroots organizations and frontline communities; and build on the success of the Beyond Coal campaign to retire all coal-fired power plants by 2030 and extend that campaign's strategies to other fossil fuels. Launched in 2011 with a $50 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to the Sierra Club, Beyond Coal has contributed to the closing of 289 of the 530 coal-fired plants in the U.S.
With the latest investment in Beyond Carbon, Bloomberg has committed a total of $1 billion in support of efforts to address climate change. The former New York City mayor, who currently serves as the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Climate Action, has supported efforts to facilitate global climate action through initiatives such as America's Pledge, C40, the Global Covenant of Mayors, SASB, and TCFD, as well as his foundation's Vibrant Oceans initiative.
"We're in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we," said Bloomberg. "Beyond Carbon will respond to this crisis with the urgency and ambition that it requires, by taking the fight to the states and turbo-charging current on-the-ground efforts. We will employ the same advocacy, legal, and electoral strategies that have proven so successful in retiring coal-fired power plants — which we have continued to close at the same fast rate under this administration as we did under the previous one....This campaign will ensure that after the 2020 election, the next administration inherits a country on its way to a 100 percent clean energy economy."