Michael Bloomberg named as UN climate envoy
American billionaire businessman and politician Michael Bloomberg has been selected as the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Climate Action.
The former Mayor of New York will support UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s climate strategy and efforts towards a high-level climate summit in New York next year, which will mobilise action towards curving global emissions by 2020.
Speaking at a press conference at UN headquarters in New York on Monday (6 March), Guterres said he picked Bloomberg to help leverage support from governments, businesses, finance and civil society organisations to encourage rapid and enhanced implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“The world has those that follow and those that lead. And those that lead, some lead in the wrong direction and some lead in the right direction,” Guterres said.
He told Bloomberg: “You are of those that lead and have always led in the right direction and it is an enormous privilege for me to be able to work so closely with you.”
Long-term environmental campaigner Bloomberg was appointed as UN Special Envoy on Cities and Climate Change in 2014 by the then Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.
He also launched the America’s Pledge initiative, alongside California Governor Jerry Brown, which aims to quantify the actions of US states, cities and businesses to drive down their carbon footprint.
A “We Are Still In” declaration of defiance was issued by Bloomberg in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
The statement has gained the backing of more than 900 companies, including Nike, Tesla, Google and Microsoft, with a vow to achieve and exceed the original commitment.
On Monday, Bloomberg said he hoped that Trump would change his mind on Paris.
“And if that’s the case, that shows a great leader who when facts change, and they recognise something different, they’re not bound to what they did before, they’re willing to change,” he said.
“And I think it’s fair to say this President does change his views – generally it’s one day to the next, but over a longer period of time.”
Bloomberg chairs the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Launched in 2015, the Task Force has developed voluntary climate-related guidelines for use by companies in providing information to lenders, insurers, investors and other stakeholders.
The final recommendations are supported by a host of multinational firms, including the likes of Unilever, Barclays and HSBC.