Bloomberg Philanthropies Expands Global Clean Energy Transition Program in 15 Developing Countries
Delivers on Michael R. Bloomberg’s COP26 commitment to advance clean energy in 25 developing countries and close a quarter of the world’s coal plants by 2025
New partnerships in Botswana, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Morocco, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Thailand, and Uganda will help fulfill clean energy potential in developing countries and around the world
New York, NY – Today at the United Nations Climate Action: Race to Zero and Resilience Forum, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions Michael R. Bloomberg announced the expansion of his efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition into another 15 developing countries, where there is abundant potential for solar, wind, and other renewable energy capacity and a growing demand for sustainable power production. In addition to its current energy transition efforts in 17 countries and the EU – including the 10 developing countries announced earlier this year at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Kigali, Rwanda – Bloomberg Philanthropies is developing new programs and partnerships in Botswana, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Morocco, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Thailand, and Uganda. The expansion continues to deliver on Bloomberg’s commitment at COP26 in Glasgow to help shutter or cancel a quarter of the world’s coal plant capacity by 2025 – and brings Bloomberg Philanthropies’ global work to catalyze the clean energy transition to 32 countries plus the EU.
“The more we invest in clean energy around the world, the faster we can end the coal era, and the more lives we can save,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Today, we’re expanding our clean energy work to fifteen new countries. We’ll work with our partners on the ground to accelerate their transition away from fossil fuels and improve the health of their citizens and economies.”
“Developing countries around the world need support to unlock their potential for clean, reliable energy generation. SEforALL is excited to work with Bloomberg Philanthropies in this next phase of their efforts to ensure more people around the world have access to clean energy and keeps pace with growing economies and populations,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. “Critically, this support will serve 15 countries – particularly those in Africa – where renewables can help extend access to the affordable, reliable power that is essential for thriving, healthy communities.”
Building on Mike’s long-standing commitment to fighting climate change, today’s announcement aims to further meaningful climate action 45 days ahead of this year’s African-hosted COP27. African nations are on the front lines of devastating climate impacts, but they are also uniquely positioned to turbocharge their economies through investments in clean energy. In the coming months, through the Bloomberg Countdown to COP27, Bloomberg Philanthropies will release a series of investments, partnerships, and initiatives to help fulfill Africa’s potential to lead the global energy transition and develop renewable infrastructure.
“At the SEforALL Forum in Kigali, Rwanda and other African nations agreed on the importance of articulating a collective position on a just and equitable energy transition for Africa,” said Dr. Ernest Nsabimana, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of Rwanda. “As we build on this position and work to be part of the solution to climate change, we welcome Michael Bloomberg’s commitment to support countries in growing capacity for clean energy production.”
“Ghana aims to employ innovative solutions to integrate a mix of renewable energy sources into the national grid,” said Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, Government of Ghana. “We are delighted to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies in order to meet our Nationally Determined Contributions, provide modern and reliable clean energy access, lower energy costs, and meet increasing energy demand for development, while meeting our net zero goals.”
“Our government is committed to accelerating energy access and increasing clean energy development,” said Rubota Masumboko Francois, Rural Development State Minister, Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo. “We welcome this announcement by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which will support our energy and climate ambitions.”
The 15 new countries of focus represent crucial stepping stones to a fossil-free future, as they are nations with fast-growing economies and populations where renewable energy development is critical to stop the rush to coal, oil, and gas. According to data from BloombergNEF’s Climatescope, the 15 countries account for nearly 27,637MW (or 27.6GW) of coal power plant capacity and collectively have over 8,046MW (or 8GW) of coal capacity under construction, planned, or permitted. However, in almost all these markets, wind or solar is the cheapest source of new clean energy generation. Shifting to a green economy will not only reduce emissions and save money, but it will also create jobs, improve infrastructure, and provide accessible, renewable, and affordable power.
“Bloomberg Philanthropies’ commitment today is yet another example of climate philanthropy leading the charge on rapid, effective scaling towards a global clean energy transition,” said Helen Mountford, the President and CEO, ClimateWorks Foundation. “We’re proud to partner with Bloomberg to support developing nations in their efforts to expand energy access and build economies around clean energy. This critical work will not just cut harmful pollution and improve health, but also create jobs, enhance equity and energy access, bringing meaningful benefits to people in these partner countries now and for future generations.”
“This is good news for scaling philanthropy in Africa, which has historically seen the lowest investments for climate,” said Saliem Fakir, Executive Director of the African Climate Foundation. “New sources of philanthropy can have a catalytic role to unlock more funds for Africa’s much needed and underfunded energy transitions.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with key partners – including Sustainable Energy for All (SEForAll), African Climate Foundation, and ClimateWorks – to expand renewable energy capacity and access while phasing out coal use, even as overall energy needs continue to grow. Bloomberg Philanthropies will also support efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition in the newly announced countries by providing data and policy research, technical assistance, project preparation capacity, entrepreneur training, blended finance mechanisms, and public engagement.
This announcement builds on Mike’s commitment earlier this year – a $242 million investment that will develop programs and partnerships in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam – and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ proven track record of helping move the world away from coal towards clean, renewable energy. In 2011, Bloomberg Philanthropies disrupted climate philanthropy by pledging a first-of-its-kind $50 million to the Beyond Coal campaign. Beating the original goal and timeline by retiring half of the U.S. coal fleet in 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies committed an additional $64 million to help retire close to 70% of U.S. coal plants, leading to a 53% reduction in carbon emissions from coal (2011-2020). In 2017 Bloomberg Philanthropies expanded Beyond Coal’s efforts to Europe with $50 million, which has since helped retire more than half the continent’s coal plants. The success of these campaigns has also inspired the launch of campaigns in Australia, South Korea, and Japan.
Most recently, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ work in Indonesia provided a roadmap for the country to achieve its full solar power potential by 2025 and has partnered with Indonesian financial institutions to fund solar projects. In India, Bloomberg Philanthropies has leveraged research, reports, and stakeholder engagement to help put the country on track to meet its ambitious 2030 renewable energy target. Globally, the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown has increased accountability and transparency by tracking the global coal fleet, and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support for the Powering Past Coal Alliance was instrumental in driving the No New Coal Compact from key nations around the world.
Led by Michael R. Bloomberg, a global climate champion and Special Envoy to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Ambition and Solutions, Bloomberg Philanthropies is tackling the climate crisis from every angle. Bloomberg Philanthropies brings together mayors and other government and business leaders, grassroots partners, and environmental advocates to accelerate the transition from coal to clean energy, improve air quality and public health, advance city and local climate action, protect and preserve ocean ecosystems, and help unlock billions of dollars in sustainable finance. To date, Mike Bloomberg has invested over $1.5 billion on climate and environment issues.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and, LinkedIn.