31 January 2014 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change to galvanize urban action to reduce greenhouse emissions ahead of the United Nations climate summit this coming September.
“Mr. Bloomberg will assist the Secretary-General in his consultations with mayors and related key stakeholders, in order to raise political will and mobilize action among cities as part of his long-term strategy to advance efforts on climate change, including bringing concrete solutions to the 2014 Climate Summit that the Secretary-General will host in New York on 23 September 2014,” the announcement said.
Mr. Bloomberg, who left office as Mayor on 31 December after 12 years in the job, currently serves as the President of the Board of the C40 Climate Leadership Group, a network of large cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally.
The Secretary-General has invited leaders from Governments, businesses, finance and civil society to bring “bold announcements and actions” to the September summit to raise the level of ambition through new and more robust action on climate change. Cities play an essential role in developing and implementing actions and driving ambition, significantly affecting climate change.
Mr. Bloomberg, who served as New York City’s 108th Mayor, began his career in 1966 at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank, and launched Bloomberg LP in 1981, a financial news and information company. In 2007, Mayor Bloomberg addressed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia.
In April of that year, UN Director of Sustainable Development JoAnne DiSano warmly welcomed Mr. Bloomberg’s plans to reduce the strain on natural resources such as water, air and land by instituting a more energy-efficient city by rebuilding aging water mains, fostering greater support for mass transit, putting limits on vehicular congestion and creating more energy-efficient buildings.
“This is exactly the type of initiative that we would like more cities and communities to undertake,” she said then. “Real development has to allow for economic growth and social development in an environmentally balanced way. We are strongly encouraged by this proposal.”
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