Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced that Michael R. Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Climate Action, will contribute $5.5 million in support of the UN Climate Change Secretariat.
Announced on Earth Day, the pledge fills a funding shortfall created by the Trump administration's decision — for the second consecutive year — not to fully fund annual commitments to the secretariat made by the Obama administration under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Among other things, the funding will help underwrite the operational costs of the secretariat's headquarters in Bonn, Germany, as well as the secretary-general's climate strategy and efforts to ensure progress on international carbon reduction goals.
Although the Obama administration committed a total of $15 million to the secretariat for the two-year 2018-19 funding cycle, the U.S. government transferred only $2.5 million in 2018 and is expected to contribute the same amount this year. After the Trump administration pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017, Bloomberg pledged to make up $15 million in funding from Washington the secretariat stood to lose. With the $4.5 million contributed in 2018, the latest pledge boosts Bloomberg's commitment to the secretariat to $10 million.
"The United States made a promise to meet the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement — and if the federal government won't hold up our end of the deal, then the American people must," said Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City. "As mayors, governors, business leaders, and private citizens across the country work to ensure that we meet our climate targets, our foundation will again cover the difference in federal funding to the United Nations. Together, we're sending a loud, clear message to the rest of the world: regardless of what's happening in Washington, we're in this fight with you."
"The success of the Paris Agreement and global efforts to address climate change are contingent upon bold action from governments, private sector, and civil society," said UN Climate Change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa. "UN Climate Change Secretariat thanks Mike Bloomberg for his ongoing support for global climate action and welcomes his generous contribution to better assist countries in realizing their Paris goals."