The philanthropist and former NYC mayor is taking action to close remaining U.S. coal plants.
Last week, billionaire philanthropist and climate advocate Michael Bloomberg announced a new campaign aimed at weaning the U.S. energy market off of fossil fuels once and for all. The campaign will direct $500M in funding toward lobbying primarily at the state and local government levels to transition away from carbon-intensive forms of generation such as coal.
In addition to lobbying efforts, Beyond Carbon will also support the campaigns of local and state political candidates focused on climate action. With this bottom-up approach, Bloomberg is intentionally bypassing Washington, where a divided congress and a president who denies the reality of climate change have made any progressive action at the federal level a non-starter.
The “Beyond Carbon” campaign announcement came during the former New York City mayor’s commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“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,” Bloomberg said in a statement before the MIT commencement. “Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we.”
The biggest battle ahead for the renewable energy industry will be winning over policymakers at both the state and federal levels. According to a report from the IMF published last month, the U.S. spent $649 billion subsidizing fossil fuels in 2015.
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