As people around the world marked Earth Day on Sunday, 22 April, the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action announced a personal contribution of $4.5 million to the UN Secretariat for climate change.
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist and former Mayor of New York City, pledged last June to cover some of the funding shortfall of the Secretariat for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), caused by US President Donald Trump’s announcement on June 1, 2017, that the US would withdraw from the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Green Climate Fund
As part of the agreement, the US had pledged $3bn to the Green Climate Fund, set up by the UN to help countries deal with the effects of global warming.
The contribution will go towards general operations, including assisting countries to meet targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the accord, agreed by 193 States in the French capital.
Trump withdraws, Bloomberg steps in
In late March, the US Congress announced a cut of $3 million from $7.5 million, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Bloomberg announced his contribution on CBS saying, “America made a commitment and as an American, if the government’s not going to do it, we all have a responsibility.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said via Twitter that he was “very grateful to Michael Bloomberg, not only for his generous support to the United Nations, but also for his global leadership on climate action.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies offered $15 million to cover a separate climate change shortfall last year.
Guterres appointed Bloomberg his Special Envoy for Climate Action on March 5.
Earth Day this year focused on combatting pollution caused by plastic. More than 8 million tons of the petroleum-derived product are dumped into the world’s oceans alone every year, leaving aside land pollution caused by it. Concern is growing over its toxic legacy on human health and environment.