Blog

Coal on the Decline: 150 Plant Closures and Counting

By Michael R. Bloomberg

The Sierra Club, Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners have reached a big milestone in our campaign to move the United States beyond coal. With the announced retirement of the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts, 150 coal plants, or more than 60,000 megawatts, have either already closed or are on schedule to close. During the last two years, action by hundreds of individual communities, in partnership with the Sierra Club and Bloomberg Philanthropies, has led us to this key marker—one plant at a time. Coal is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for about 40 percent of total U.S. emissions. Retiring much of our existing coal fleet is our best opportunity to lower carbon pollution in the United States. Already, this shift away from coal has helped drive 2012 carbon dioxide emissions in the United States to their lowest level in two decades.

Mike Bloomberg Urges Obama Administration to Avoid a "Colossal Public Health Mistake"

In today’s New York Times, Mayor Bloomberg wrote about his disappointment in the Obama Administration’s decision to weaken tobacco control protections in the latest draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement currently being negotiated by the President’s team and 11 other Pacific nations. He wrote, in part:

“[T]the Obama administration appears to be on the verge of bowing to pressure from a powerful special-interest group, the tobacco industry, in a move that would be a colossal public health mistake and potentially contribute to the deaths of tens of millions of people around the world.”

Read the entire piece on The New York Times website.

Would You Smoke These?

By Sarah England, Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health Team

If your answer is “no,” you’re not alone. Research shows shocking images that provoke an emotional response are the most effective at motivating smokers to quit. That’s why Bloomberg Philanthropies and our partners work so hard to push governments to make them mandatory on every tobacco product—especially in countries where smoking rates are highest.

As a result of our efforts and those of countless health advocates, Vietnam and Russia (home to 15 and 60 million adult smokers) recently began enforcing regulations that mandate vivid depictions of the negative effects of tobacco on cigarette packs sold throughout those countries.

Supporting Uruguay in their Fight Against Big Tobacco

By Kelly Henning, Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health Team

This week, Mike Bloomberg met with Uruguayan Deputy Secretary Canepa, who along with President Mujica and his government are fighting a meritless lawsuit from tobacco giant Philip Morris as a result of the country’s strong anti-tobacco laws. Mike Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies and our partners stand strongly with the Uruguayan government, and are aiding their legal efforts.

By the Numbers: New Study Shows Success of Anti-Tobacco Policies

By Jennifer Ellis, Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health Team

As Mike Bloomberg often says, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” That’s why I am excited to make public the results of a new study that shows more than 7 million lives have been saved around the world as a result of tobacco control policy progress—and many more lives stand to be saved if we continue to pursue proven tobacco control policies.

The study was conducted by experts at Georgetown University, along with Bloomberg Philanthropies, and is the first to estimate the lives saved as a result of tobacco control policy progress.

The adoption and implementation of evidence-based policies to reduce tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries is the primary goal of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. With this study, we now have concrete evidence of the success of the MPOWER tobacco control measures as well as the headway the global tobacco control movement made in just three years (2007-2010).

Transforming the Museum Experience through Mobile Technology

By Anita Contini, Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Team

Visiting a museum and seeing incredible art in person can be a transformative experience. But museum-goers have traditionally faced two barriers to making the most of their museum visits: the challenges of navigating collections and accessing information about its works. Many museums have made significant efforts to address these challenges, including offering curator-led tours and traditional audio guides along with interactive kiosks that facilitate self-guided walkthroughs.

Bangladesh Enacts New Anti-Tobacco Rules

By Ishrat Chowdhury, Technical Advisor, The Union South-East Asia Office, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

After years of effort on the part of NGOs and Bangladesh’s anti-tobacco community, the country’s national parliament recently passed new tobacco control legislation that will help curb tobacco use by addressing several loopholes contained in previous regulations that did not go far enough to protect citizens from the harms of tobacco.

Volunteering to Tackle Nashville’s Needs

By Mayor Karl Dean, Nashville

Tennessee has long been known as the “volunteer state,” a moniker that Nashville residents are proud of.

The city of Nashville experienced a historic flood in 2010 – the fourth-largest non-hurricane disaster in U.S. history. More than 10,000 private properties were affected, and the city suffered over $2.1 billion in damages. To meet this unprecedented challenge, we leveraged all resources available to us – including the willingness of our fellow citizens to lend their time and talents to rebuild and revitalize our community. The flood may have brought challenges, but it also brought opportunities. It brought our city together.

Nashville’s ability to respond and recover was aided, in large part, by a culture of service that we had adopted through our involvement in Cities of Service and our city’s own Impact Nashville.

Marking World No Tobacco Day in Vietnam

By Kelly Henning, Public Health Team

Today is World No Tobacco Day, a day that highlights the importance of reducing tobacco use across the globe. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ representatives spent the run up to this important landmark in Vietnam, which recently brought into force a new tobacco control law.

Getting Past the Innovation One-off

By James Anderson, Government Innovation Team

In pulling together this week’s Mayors Innovation Summit, Philadelphia Mayor and U.S. Conference of Mayors President Michael Nutter is responding to exploding interest from city leaders to create a radically new kind of local government: one that’s consistently good at embracing new ideas.