Mike Bloomberg Delivers America’s Pledge at COP25
December 10, 2019
For third consecutive year, Bloomberg steps in for the U.S. federal government to convey U.S. climate action to the international climate community
Read Accelerating America’s Pledge here
MADRID, SPAIN — Today at the 25th annual Conference of the Parties (COP) in Madrid, Spain, former New York City Mayor and co-chair of America’s Pledge Michael R. Bloomberg delivered the latest America’s Pledge report to the international climate community.
After Trump announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, Bloomberg stepped in to fill this leadership gap and ensure that U.S. climate progress continued despite federal inaction. He launched the America’s Pledge initiative in June 2017, which has since released annual reports with the aim of quantifying and communicating the climate progress of nearly 4,000 cities, states, and businesses who are committed to the Paris goals. Additionally, Bloomberg has continually worked to maintain America’s climate leadership position on the international stage, committing $10 million to date to fill the funding gap to the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, and ensuring the U.S. is represented at international climate conferences through U.S. Climate Action Pavilions.
Today, Bloomberg was joined by a coalition of leading domestic and international climate voices, including UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, and incoming UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney, to discuss the report. Their remarks were followed by a high-level discussion of the report findings and methodology by America’s Pledge vice-chair Carl Pope and report authors Nate Hultman, director of the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland (UMD), and Carla Frisch, principal at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).
This year’s report, Accelerating America’s Pledge: Going All-In to Build a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Economy for the United States, shows the potential for progress on U.S. emissions reductions if climate-forward leaders are elected to all levels of government – from city halls to the White House. The report captures the power of U.S. states, cities, businesses, and other organizations representing nearly 70 percent of the country’s GDP to reduce emissions and help advance the country toward the Paris Agreement targets.
“The need for widespread, all-in climate action grows each day, and thankfully, so does the coalition of cities, states, businesses, universities, and others around the world who are working to lower emissions and create a more sustainable future,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. “Bottom-up climate action is not only growing in scale and ambition, but delivering substantial progress toward our global goals. I welcome the third annual America’s Pledge report as a crucial reminder of the power of collective climate action from leaders across economic sectors and levels of government.”
“While the Trump administration refuses to do the job, America’s Pledge is uniting cities, states, and businesses in the urgent fight against climate change – and we are getting results,” said America’s Pledge co-chair and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. “Our new report shows that if America goes all-in on climate action, then we can accelerate the progress we’re already making – and fulfill our commitment under the Paris Agreement.”
“With our president AWOL and the U.S. Senate mired in denial, many businesses and local governments have acted decisively to reduce carbon emissions,” said America’s Pledge co-chair and former California Governor Jerry Brown. “But to save our civilization, America needs a new President, a new Senate and a profound sense of urgency.”
“Mike Bloomberg’s leadership on tackling climate change has galvanised action by every level of government and by a wide range of private companies across the globe,” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and incoming UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. “In the financial sector, his pathbreaking initiative on climate disclosure is creating the platform to make sustainable finance mainstream. Now we must build on these foundations to ensure a just transition to a net zero carbon economy.”
“The momentum we’re seeing on climate action from cities, states, and businesses has never been stronger than it is right now,” said Carl Pope, vice-chair of America’s Pledge. “Our dedicated coalition of bottom-up actors has shown the country and the world the power of collective climate action – and we’re just getting started. Enhancing our ambition will take us even further – and if we can band together to elect climate-forward representatives at the national level, the future of U.S. climate leadership looks even brighter.”
“The monumental Paris Agreement was a tremendous step forward for the global community to commit to taking concrete action in the fight against the growing climate crisis,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. “While it’s been disheartening to see the Trump administration pull back from that agreement, Mike Bloomberg has made sure the world knows U.S. cities, states, and businesses all across America are working to keep the U.S. on a path to Paris. Mike’s efforts have been critical during a time of stalled federal leadership not just in the U.S. but other countries around the globe. His America’s Pledge initiative gives us inspiring evidence of the impact and importance of cities, regions, businesses, and more in the global climate fight.”
Released publicly on December 9, 2019, the America’s Pledge report projects two emissions reductions scenarios based on city, state, business, and federal adoption of ambitious climate action policies:
- Bottom-Up: The first scenario involves a coalition of states, cities, and businesses deploying aggressive best-practice climate policies informed by the ongoing action of current climate leaders. This is projected to reduce emissions 37 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
- All-In: The second scenario involves a reengaged federal government layering aggressive, post-2020 climate action onto the bottom-up efforts outlined in scenario one. This would put the U.S. on track to reduce emissions 49 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement, and lay the foundation for a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
“The science is clear – the climate is changing and its impacts are being felt by communities around the globe,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute. “Thankfully, America’s Pledge is showing that meaningful climate action is not solely reliant on federal governments – cities, states, and businesses have tremendous power to cut emissions and tackle the climate crisis. The scenarios laid out by America’s Pledge show that our clean energy future is within reach and it’s critical that public and private sector leaders take us there.”
“America’s Pledge has demonstrated the fact that bottom up climate action is real and is still happening even in the absence of federal leadership,” said Robert C. Orr, Dean of University of Maryland School of Public Policy. “By bringing together leading university experts and the actors at the state and local level and in the real economy who drive a country’s emissions, America’s Pledge has pioneered a bottom-up approach to climate action that is needed not only in the United States, but around the world.”
“Just before officially beginning proceedings to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, President Trump visited Pittsburgh in yet another attempt to suggest that climate isn’t an issue that matters to us,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “He couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, Pittsburgh is one of nearly 4,000 cities, states, and businesses who are facing climate change head-on with broad, progressive policies to move America forward on climate. Thanks to the great work of Mike Bloomberg and Jerry Brown, we know our work is having an impact – and no amount of opposition will prevent us from continuing to lead us towards a low-carbon economy.”
“While the federal government continues to ignore the climate crisis, cities like St. Petersburg are committed to bringing the U.S. closer to the Paris Agreement,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “Thanks to the leadership from Michael Bloomberg and Jerry Brown, we know these efforts aren’t futile. The latest America’s Pledge report shows that the U.S. hasn’t turned our backs on our residents, nor the global community. Cities, states, businesses, universities, and other organizations across America are still enacting climate-forward policies and regulations – and with the federal government on our side we could go even further.”
“In the absence of federal leadership on climate action, it’s fallen to the rest of us – cities, states, businesses, and institutions – to implement climate-forward policy,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “I’m grateful for the leadership of Mike Bloomberg and Jerry Brown in assembling this coalition. Together, we’re showing the world that America is very much still in the fight against climate change.”
“Florida is on the front lines of the climate crisis in the United States – and with each passing year we’re reminded that we cannot afford to wait to save our home,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Thanks to the leadership of Mike Bloomberg and Jerry Brown, Orlando is proud to be one of the nearly 4,000 America’s Pledge members putting forth progressive climate policies. America’s Pledge is a powerful example of the potential for progress when we collectively agree to take action against the climate crisis together.”
“Cities have always been the engines driving the fight against climate change, because our residents can’t afford the costs of inaction and the consequences of delay,” said Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor and Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. “America’s Pledge reaffirms what we already know to be true: while too many in Washington reject scientific facts and refuse to act, a vast coalition of local leaders, states, businesses, and concerned citizens will keep working to combat the climate crisis and preserve our children’s future.”
The report also projects emissions reductions based on the current trajectory of climate action with existing, on-the-books commitments from non-federal actors and without engagement from the federal government. Existing commitments from the coalition of states, cities, and businesses currently committed to the Paris Agreement would reduce emissions 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, significantly faster progress than the report was able to measure only a year ago.
The strategies outlined in the report are organized around three principles that will empower action at all levels of the economy: 1) accelerate toward 100 percent clean electricity and fuels; 2) decarbonize energy end-uses in transportation, buildings, and industry; and 3) enhance the carbon storage potential of forests, farms, and coastal wetlands. These steps leverage high-impact opportunities that are available today, while laying the groundwork for steadily deeper emissions reductions after 2030 in order to achieve a carbon-neutral future.
The America’s Pledge report is the leading methodological approach to assess the impacts of non-federal action on the national emissions trajectory. Last year, America’s Pledge pioneered a new methodology that aggregates non-federal commitments and integrates them into its globally leading assessment model that accounts for the diverse actions of cities, businesses, and all 50 states, along with contributing factors of the global economy. The proprietary modeling tool allows America’s Pledge to analyze climate action from the bottom-up, rather than relying on globally or nationally-scaled models, making the annual America’s Pledge report the most comprehensive analysis of ongoing and projected U.S. emissions.
About America’s Pledge
In the wake of President Trump’s initial announcement that he planned to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement in June 2017, an unprecedented number of U.S. cities, states, businesses, and universities reaffirmed their commitment to help America reach its Paris climate goals. Whether through declarations like We Are Still In or new pledges and commitments of their own, these bottom-up actors are maintaining U.S. momentum on climate action in the absence of federal leadership. In July 2017, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and former California Governor Edmund G. Brown launched America’s Pledge, an initiative to aggregate and quantify the actions by U.S. states, cities, businesses, and other non-federal actors to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Since its launch, America’s Pledge has published annual assessments of non-federal action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on a unique methodological approach developed by climate researchers and policy experts. To learn more about America’s Pledge, please visit www.americaspledge.com
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