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Bloomberg pledges $500m in philanthropic fight against climate crisis

Beyond Carbon will employ advocacy, legal and electoral strategies to accelerate bold action which includes helping elect candidates who are climate champions.

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Beyond Carbon aims to accelerate the retirement of coal plants
Beyond Carbon aims to accelerate the retirement of coal plants

A $500m campaign to tackle climate change and put the US on track toward a 100 per cent clean energy economy has been launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

 

The Beyond Carbon programme will seek to use advocacy, legal, and electoral strategies to secure state and local policy changes and accelerate the shutdown of coal plants and help elect candidates who are climate champions.

 

Race against time

 

Described as the largest coordinated campaign to address climate change in the US, Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, pledged the donation during an address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

“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,” said Bloomberg.

 

“Beyond Carbon will respond to this crisis with the urgency and ambition that it requires, by taking the fight to the states and turbo-charging current on-the-ground efforts. We will employ the same advocacy, legal, and electoral strategies that have proven so successful in retiring coal-fired power plants.”

“Beyond Carbon will respond to this crisis with the urgency and ambition that it requires, by taking the fight to the states and turbo-charging current on-the-ground efforts"

He continued: “This campaign will ensure that after the 2020 election, the next administration inherits a country on its way to a 100 per cent clean energy economy.”

 

The Beyond Carbon initiative bids to:

  • Work with state and local organisations to pass climate and clean energy policies, including 100 per cent clean energy laws, targets and timetables to phase out climate pollution, and implementation of programmes to expand low-carbon transit, speed up the deployment of electric vehicles, remove pollution from buildings, and promote low-carbon manufacturing;
  • Help grow the climate movement through partnership at all levels including expanding support for grassroots organisations and frontline communities;
  • Accelerate progress and retire all coal-fired power plants by 2030. Simultaneously and starting now, Beyond Carbon will extend the successful strategies utilised in the Beyond Coal campaign to other fossil fuels, by working to prevent new construction of gas plants;
  • Work to help elect state and local candidates who are climate champions. Elected representatives willing to lead on climate will drive progress from the local level.

Beyond Carbon brings Bloomberg’s global investment in fighting climate change to $1bn. In 2011, the foundation joined forces with the Sierra Club to launch Beyond Coal with the goal of closing at least a third of the country’s coal plants. With 289 of 530 closed to date, Beyond Carbon’s goal is to close the rest by 2030 as well as stop the rush to build new gas plants.

 

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