Bloomberg becomes UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate ChangeMarch 2014
Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg has been appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve as Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.
In this role, Bloomberg will assist the Secretary-General in his efforts to mobilize action among cities as part of a strategy to combat climate change. He will also work with other mayors both to increase their climate change-related commitments and to encourage national governments to do the same.
The appointment of a mayor as Special Envoy - a title generally reserved for former heads of state or government - reflects the growing influence and importance of cities in fighting climate change.
“Cities around the world are taking bold, measurable action to reduce carbon emissions and become more resilient - and they have emerged as a leading force in the battle against climate change,” said Bloomberg. “Cities account for more than 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and two-thirds of the world’s energy use today, and their total population is projected to double by 2050 - so the steps they take now to combat climate change will have a major impact on the future of our planet. Cities have shown they have the capacity and the will to meet this challenge - and I look forward to working with them and the United Nations to accelerate progress.”
Bloomberg has been committed to sustainability for nearly a decade, beginning on a local scale and then moving to national and international efforts.
As Mayor of New York, he spearheaded PlaNYC - an unprecedented effort undertaken to combat climate change locally, bringing together over 25 City agencies to create a greener, greater New York.
New York City has planted more than 800,000 new trees, banned the use of the dirtiest heating oils, implemented the most aggressive mandatory energy efficiency program for large buildings in the United States, and instituted bus rapid transit lines as well as a major bike-sharing initiative. These efforts have reduced the city’s carbon footprint by 19% since 2005, and made New York City’s air cleaner than it has been in more than 50 years.
Bloomberg is also current president of the board at the C40 Climate Leadership Group.
C40’s research has indicated that the 63 C40 Cities have already put in place policies and programs that, when fully implemented, will cut annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 248 million tonnes by 2020 - the equivalent to the total GHG emissions of Argentina and Portugal combined.
Further, C40 Cities have the potential to reduce annual emissions by more than 1 billion tonnes by 2030, which is the equivalent of the GHG emissions of Mexico and Canada combined.
Bloomberg’s appointment runs until December, 2015. He will be an active participant in the 2014 Climate Summit that will be held in New York this September.
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