Former New York Mayor Pledges $500M to Close Coal-Powered Plants

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday that he would donate half a billion dollars to close the remaining coal plants in the United States by 2030 so as to help fight climate changes.

“I’m committing $500 million to launch @BeyondCarbon the largest-ever coordinated campaign to tackle the climate crisis our country has ever seen,” Bloomberg tweeted. “This is the fight of our time.”

Beyond Carbon, its website says, works with advocates “to build on the leadership and climate progress underway in our states, cities, and communities to maximize the progress on climate change,” The Hill informs.

The initiative aims to have the U.S. utilize only completely clean energy “and ensure that after the 2020 election, the next Administration inherits a country already well on the way to a full clean energy economy.”

Bloomberg’s effort will be focused on state and local governments, with the money used over a three-year period, funding lobbying efforts by environmental groups to see coal plants closed and replaced with clean energy sources. The former mayor has said that his campaign will bypass Washington where lawmakers cannot take drastic measures to tackle climate change amid denials by President Donald Trump of the human impact on the crisis.

“We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we,” stressed Bloomberg.

Since 2010 about 40 percent of all American coal plants – over 280 – have closed or announced plans to do so and Bloomberg aims to have the other 241 plants also close over the next decade. He will formally announce the initiative on Friday when he is scheduled to deliver the opening address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The New York Times reports.

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