United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday appointed Michael R. Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York City, as his Special Envoy for Climate Action.
According to the UN chief’s spokesperson, Mr. Bloomberg – who earlier served as the UN Special Envoy on Cities and Climate Change – will support the Secretary-General’s climate strategy and efforts toward the planned 2019 Climate Summit at UN Headquarters, which seeks to mobilize stronger and more ambitious action towards 2020 climate targets.
The Special Envoy will leverage efforts in key areas of the Climate Summit to encourage rapid and enhanced implementation of the Paris Agreement in the context of sustainable development.
The Secretary-General said that Mr. Bloomberg’s action to mobilize cities, businesses, states in the United States, and countries around the world, “has made an enormous difference.”
“We need that enhanced ambition in order to make sure that we reach the end of the century with an increase in temperature of about 1.5 and below 2 [degrees Celsius],” he added, referring to the central aim of the three-year-old Paris Accord, which set the stage for all countries to take ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.
There are some good signs, Mr. Guterres said. “Technology is on our side. Today, the cheapest energy is green energy. Today, the green economy is the good economy and those that will not bet in the green economy will [not] have a great future. They will not have a positive position in the future. This is true for companies. This is true for countries. Countries that do not back today the green economy will not be leading countries in the global economy of the future.
Mr. Bloomberg said, “climate change is real, it’s measurable, and the world can do something about it.” He added, “a lot of progress has been made,” and said that most of the efforts were coming from state governments, cities and corporations
The note further stated that Secretary-General will be engaging and inviting leaders from Governments, businesses, finance and civil society organizations with a view to bending the emissions curve by 2020 and accelerating the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“The Secretary-General and Mr. Bloomberg share the perspective that the emissions gap needs to be closed soon to limit global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius. Climate Action, including those by cities and sub-national actors, play an essential role in driving ambition on climate change,” it added.
In addition to having served as the former UN Special Envoy on Cities and Climate Change, Mr. Bloomberg was appointed by the Chair of the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
The Task Force – which has finished its work – has developed voluntary, climate-related financial disclosures for use by companies in providing information to lenders, insurers, investors and other stakeholders.
From 2002-2013, Mr. Bloomberg served as the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. He began his career in 1966 at Salomon Brothers, and launched the financial news and information company Bloomberg LP in 1981.