Letter of Michael R. Bloomberg to United Nations Secretary-general António Guterres & Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Patricia Espinosa
Dear Secretary-General Guterres and Executive Secretary Espinosa,
I am submitting the attached statement from U.S. subnational and non-state actors to affirm and demonstrate Americans’ collective commitment to the Paris Agreement and to supporting climate action to meet the nationally determined contribution made by the United States under that accord.
The bulk of the decisions which drive U.S. climate action in the aggregate are made by cities, states, businesses, and civil society. The federal role, ideally, is to coordinate and support those efforts. In the absence of a supportive federal coordinating role, these actors will more closely coordinate their own decarbonization actions. Collectively, they will redouble their efforts to ensure that the U.S. achieves the carbon emissions reductions it pledged under the Paris Agreement.
Since 2007, when economy-wide emissions peaked, the United States has been reducing its emissions at a rate which, if sustained through 2025, would achieve almost the full amount of our Paris commitment. That rate of progress, which has been driven not by Washington policies but by actions taken by cities, states, businesses, and civil society, has been accelerating for the past three years. We do not intend to slow down. Indeed, we are confident that emissions reductions in the United States will accelerate over the coming years as a result of the growing ambition for climate action by cities, states, businesses, and others. These groups recognize not just the urgency of the climate change threat, but the enormous economic opportunity presented by climate change action.
In my capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, I plan to work with U.S. subnational and non-state actors over the coming months to follow-up on this submission with a more specific quantification of these aggregate actions. This quantification, which will constitute “America’s Pledge” to the world, will reflect our collective resolve to combat climate change and fulfill our responsibility to help lead the world in reducing emissions. And, as the Global Covenant of Mayors has already done for its activities, I will support the necessary initiatives to make the American contribution to the Paris Agreement transparent and accountable.
It is my hope that the UNFCCC, on behalf of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, will accept and acknowledge America’s Pledge as a parallel submission alongside any future submission provided to you by the current executive branch of the U.S. federal government. That branch can, and will, speak to its own willingness to move forward on climate action in the United States. It cannot, however, determine the pace of progress achieved by U.S. cities, states, the private sector, and civil society. That freedom to lead is part-and-parcel of our federal system – and in combatting climate change, we will capitalize on it to the fullest extent.