Taking Action to Protect the Planet

The Environment

The Environment program brings together a wide range of partners, including mayors, scientists, activists, and business leaders. By fighting to replace coal with clean energy, helping cities around the world to reduce pollution, encouraging policies and practices to protect the planet’s oceans, and making financial markets more transparent about climate-related risks and opportunities, Bloomberg Philanthropies is working to create a healthier, cleaner, and safer environment.

“Mike Bloomberg’s action – mobilizing states, cities and businesses in the United States and around the world – has made an enormous difference, and makes us believe that we can rise to the challenge of climate change.”
António Guterres
United Nations

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ ocean conservation efforts help protect marine life in coral reefs like this one off the coast of Indonesia.

America's Pledge

Ensuring Continued U.S. Climate Leadership

Mike Bloomberg visiting Des Moines Area Community College’s wind energy program in Iowa.

24 states,
349 universities,
540 cities, and
2,100 businesses
committed to achieving the goals of
the Paris Agreement

After the White House declared its intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2017, Mike Bloomberg and former California Governor Jerry Brown launched America’s Pledge, a coalition that now includes 24 states, 349 universities, 540 cities, and 2,100 businesses committed to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies co-hosted the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, which showcased the continued commitment of U.S. cities, states, and businesses to combating climate change. The 2018 America’s Pledge report, released at the summit, demonstrated how local leaders and organizations can bring the U.S. close to its 2025 emissions reduction target and identified opportunities for even greater emissions reductions.

In addition to reporting U.S. progress to the world through America’s Pledge, Bloomberg Philanthropies has stepped up over the past two years to cover the $10 million funding gap at the United Nations, created when the Trump Administration revoked much of its financial support for the climate agreement. And, in 2018, in partnership with the UN, World Bank Group, and French President Emmanuel Macron, Bloomberg Philanthropies convened political and business leaders at the One Planet Summit in New York to discuss ongoing public-private partnerships to tackle climate change.

support of America’s Pledge

Listen to learn more about the efforts of two local leaders working to move the U.S. beyond coal.

Watch: America’s Pledge — U.S. Mayors, Governors, and Business Leaders Reaffirm That “We Are Still In”

American Cities Climate Challenge

Helping U.S. Cities Reduce Building and Transportation Emissions

Mike Bloomberg visiting an energy utility with floating solar panels on a pond in Orlando, Florida, a winning city in the American Cities Climate Challenge.

In 2018, 25 major U.S. cities were accepted into a two-year program to tackle climate change and promote sustainability. Launched to drive more ambitious climate action, the challenge was met with an outpouring of interest. The program focuses on reducing emissions from transportation and buildings and gives winners access to powerful resources and cutting-edge support, including embedded city staff, technical assistance, and support for implementation. Cities will also have the chance to share strategies and best practices to scale their solutions and make even greater progress. Winning cities are passing and implementing a range of policies and programs to combat climate change, including crafting energy efficiency mandates for buildings, enforcing existing building codes, electrifying city vehicles and buses, and expanding public transit networks.

Climate Challenge actions
are projected to reduce emissions by
40 million metric tons –
equivalent to taking
8.5 million cars off the road

Watch: Taking Action to Save the Planet

Watch: Big Ideas for Fighting Climate Change — The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge Winners

Bloomberg Philanthropies Approach

Remain flexible to invest boldly and quickly in order to maximize impact.

New opportunities can arise without warning, and with issues like climate change there is no time to waste. Find out how Mike stepped in at a crucial moment to rally local leaders to tackle a global challenge.

Paris to Pittsburgh

Reframing the Debate on Climate Change

Scene from the documentary, visiting a solar farm at Farmers Electric Cooperative in Kalona, Iowa.

Following the success of its 2017 release of the film From the Ashes, Bloomberg Philanthropies produced its second feature-length documentary on climate change.

Inspired by a tweet from Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto after President Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, Paris to Pittsburgh tells the stories of individuals, communities, businesses, and local governments taking action to combat climate change, even without support from the federal government. Produced in partnership with RadicalMedia, Paris to Pittsburgh was released internationally by the National Geographic Channel. It has also been shown at hundreds of screenings around the world, with many hosted by local community groups.

“Paris to Pittsburgh” has aired in
172 countries and in
43 languages

Panelists at an advance screening of Paris to Pittsburgh in Orlando, Florida.
A community college student in Iowa studying wind energy, who is featured in Paris to Pittsburgh, looks out from the top of a turbine with her father.

Find out where to watch the film at: ParistoPittsburgh.com

Watch: The trailer for Paris to Pittsburgh

Sustainable Finance

Cities and Businesses Leading the Way to a Sustainable Future

Seedlings grow in the Papatuanuku Kokiri Marae, a communal gathering place in Auckland, New Zealand, where people learn how to reduce waste and grow their own food. Auckland was recognized by C40 for its commitment to reducing landfill waste.

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Around the world, cities are leading the fight against climate change, and Mike Bloomberg’s leadership of a number of key efforts is helping to ensure continued progress.

He serves as board president of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of major cities whose mayors have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving their cities’ resilience in the face of a changing climate. In 2018, 19 C40 cities (representing 130 million residents) pledged to significantly curb their emissions by adopting net-zero carbon standards for new buildings by 2030 and all buildings by 2050.

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a network of cities and local governments that Mike Bloomberg co-chairs, continues to fight climate change, in part by harnessing the emissions reporting commitments made by more than 9,200 cities. Representing more than 800 million people, Global Covenant cities share best practices on how to use data and financing to fight climate change.

In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Global Covenant partnered with Google to provide cities with access to new online climate data and analytical tools to track progress toward climate targets.

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) & Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

As the effects of climate change become clearer, the demand for better data on the financial risks of climate change continues to grow.

Two Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported initiatives, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), are working to establish consistent standards to help businesses identify, measure, and disclose the climate risks they face. In 2018, SASB released its sustainability standards for 79 different industries. The recommendations of the TCFD, which Mike Bloomberg chairs, have been endorsed by more than 500 public- and private-sector organizations.

Nearly $100 trillion in total assets under management from investors who have endorsed the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

Beyond Coal

Moving Beyond Coal Toward a Clean Energy Future in the U.S. and Around the World

U.S. Beyond Coal activists rally for clean energy in Indiana.

The Beyond Coal campaign helps communities transition from coal to clean, affordable energy that reduces air pollution, improves public health, combats climate change, and drives economic growth.

Since 2011, Beyond Coal, a Bloomberg Philanthropies- backed campaign led by the Sierra Club, has helped close more than 289 out of 530 coal-fired power plants in the U.S., helping to reduce premature deaths due to coal pollution from 13,000 per year to 3,000. As part of this effort, Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported groups around the country advocating for clean energy state by state.

In 2018, coalitions supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies succeeded in passing a 50 percent renewable energy policy in New Jersey and enacting record levels of clean energy investment in Virginia.

While Beyond Coal continues its work in the United States, Bloomberg Philanthropies has expanded its international efforts, starting with Europe. The Europe Beyond Coal campaign has retired more than 58 out of 321 coal plants since 2016, including six of the continent‘s dirtiest. Bloomberg Philanthropies has also worked with the European Commission to support its efforts to facilitate economic and social transition in 42 coal regions in Europe. Globally, this work has also included developing research and case studies in support of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a coalition of governments and companies committed to phasing out coal and transitioning to cleaner, cheaper energy.

Watch: Our Grassroots Work to Move the U.S. Toward Clean Energy

Beyond Coal

Coal Plant Retirements Across the U.S. and Europe

More than 289 coal plants retired
in the U.S. since 2011

coal plant closures us mobile

More than 58 plants retired in Europe since 2016

coal plant closures

Coal’s share of electricity generation

coals share of electricity generation mobile

Beyond Coal

Coal Plant Retirements Across the U.S. and Europe

More than 289 coal plants retired
in the U.S. since 2011

Map of U.S. coal plant closures since 2011

More than 58 plants retired in Europe since 2016

Map of E.U. coal plant closures since 2016

Coal’s share of electricity generation

Chart: Coal's share of electricity generation

Vibrant Oceans Initiative

Restoring and Protecting the World’s Oceans

Fish swim through a coral reef off the coast of Indonesia.

One billion people across the globe rely on fish as a primary source of protein in their diet. As the world’s population continues to grow, the demand for fish is projected to rise by more than 20 percent by 2030. At the same time, the global fish population is declining due to overfishing and pollution. Destructive fishing practices and climate change pose further threats to ocean ecosystems. Experts predict the collapse of up to 90 percent of coral reefs by 2050, resulting in habitat loss for one-quarter of the world’s marine species and devastating impacts on global fisheries.

The Vibrant Oceans Initiative is a data-driven effort to protect marine ecosystems both by reducing overfishing and destructive fishing practices and by preserving coral reefs. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a significant expansion of its program to ten countries, where it will help to pass laws, protect habitats, and invest in sustainable fisheries management.

This expansion builds on the success of the initial investment in three countries. For example, Chile has banned bottom trawling, a destructive fishing practice that rakes the ocean floor, in 98 percent of its national waters. In the Philippines, mayors are successfully fighting for better fisheries management in their territorial waters, and the national government established a new marine protected area in a place with near-pristine coral reefs. Bloomberg Philanthropies‘ partners also released innovative research that modeled and projected coral reef areas that are likely to be less vulnerable to the increasing effects of climate change.

At the 6th annual Our Ocean Conference in Indonesia in 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a partnership with OceanX, an initiative of Dalio Philanthropies. The first joint project was an expedition to explore the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, an area of the ocean protected by the U.S. government, highlighting the importance of marine conservation.

The expedition, which kicked off a four-year collaboration between Bloomberg and Dalio, conducted scientific research and captured footage of and data on the area’s abundant marine life to illustrate the need for further marine conservation.

Listen to learn more about small-scale fisheries, how we define good fishery practice, and the relationship between data and biology.

Watch: Mike Bloomberg and Ray Dalio Announce More Than $185 Million in New Partnership to Save Our Oceans