Protecting ocean ecosystems and coastal communities
Driving the U.S. Transition Away from Fossil Fuels
Bloomberg Philanthropies has long been at the forefront of the U.S. fight to end coal and accelerate the transition to clean energy, beginning with our partnership with the Sierra Club on the grassroots Beyond Coal campaign in 2011. In 2019, building on that campaign’s success, we launched Beyond Carbon to retire all remaining U.S. coal plants by 2030, block proposed methane gas plants, and support states and climate leaders to pass strong clean energy policies. In 2022 alone, through grassroots pressure, litigation, advocacy, and other strategies, the program secured retirements of 17 coal plants, blocked 34 new gas plants, and helped three states pass 100% clean energy or net-zero emissions policies. In the decade between 2010 and 2020, this work delivered more than 80% of all the progress the United States has made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a new campaign to block the construction or expansion of new U.S. petrochemical facilities, a major source of carbon emissions, air pollution, and cancer-causing toxins. Petrochemicals are a broad group of chemicals that are derived from gas and oil and used to make plastics and fertilizers. Our Beyond Petrochemicals campaign aims to block roughly 120 proposed facilities that would produce petrochemicals, concentrated in five states: Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Existing facilities already meet the current demand for petrochemicals, and these planned facilities threaten to subject local communities to even greater health and climate risks.
In September 2022, our partners used litigation and grassroots organizing to block the massive Formosa petrochemical plant, which was proposed along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The plant would have released carbon emissions equivalent to three coal plants, along with other toxic pollutants.
- Ongoing work in 7 countries and Europe
- Work launched in 2022 in 25 developing countries
Together with Mayor Sadiq Khan, we have supported the deployment of more than 200 low-cost air sensors across London to improve access to reliable, localized, real-time air quality data. The resulting data has helped Mayor Khan make the case for closing school streets to traffic and expanding the city’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone with charges for high-emitting vehicles. This work has led to four million more residents breathing cleaner air.
Strengthening Local Climate Action
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in local climate action across the United States. America Is All In, which Mike co-chairs, is the most expansive coalition of leaders ever assembled in support of U.S. climate action, rallying thousands of cities, states, tribal nations, businesses, and more to meet the Paris Agreement goals. In 2022, the group released a landmark report that showed how the country, with the critical steps taken by local leaders together with ongoing federal action and funding, can meet its national target to halve carbon emissions by 2030.
We also work closely with two leading city networks committed to the climate fight: the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. C40 includes nearly 100 major cities whose mayors have committed to reducing emissions and strengthening their climate resilience. Three-quarters of C40 cities are cutting per capita emissions faster than their national governments, and they have reduced air pollution by 5% since 2018. The Global Covenant is an alliance of more than 12,000 cities and local governments focused on creating ambitious targets to limit emissions and reporting on their progress. Mike serves as president of the board of C40 and as co-chair of the Global Covenant.
Top photo: In western Pennsylvania, our efforts helped secure the retirement of this major coal plant, the Keystone Generating Station.