New $65M funding will bolster local climate action through coalition building, leadership, and local climate finance
Announcement follows first-ever formal summit hosted by a COP Presidency to bring subnational leaders into the COP program and process
DUBAI, U.A.E. – Today at the COP28 Local Climate Action Summit, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions Michael R. Bloomberg – alongside United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, COP28 President Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, and 450+ mayors, governors, and local leaders – announced a new $65 million commitment to continue his support for local climate action to reduce emissions around the world. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the funding will provide critical support to leading city networks, expand data and research, and strengthen capacity for local climate finance. Today’s announcement brings Mike Bloomberg’s commitment to supporting cities in reducing emissions to over $650 million.
This year’s Global Stocktake sounded the alarm for urgent acceleration of higher climate ambition and faster implementation. New research released today from the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability and supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies shows that by accelerating partnerships and all-of-society action between cities, states, provinces, businesses, investors, communities, and non-governmental actors together with national governments, the world can still keep the global goal of 1.5°C to avoid the worst impacts of climate change within reach.
“Cities are leading the way when it comes to reducing emissions, but as the Global Stocktake makes clear, we need to move faster,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “This new commitment reflects our longstanding belief at Bloomberg Philanthropies that climate change cannot be solved without strong city leadership and action. Following the progress we made at the Local Climate Action Summit, we will continue to help our partners lead the way in helping cities do more, faster.”
Bloomberg’s announcement was made at the COP28 Local Climate Action Summit, marking a historic new era welcoming local climate action into the COP program and process for the first time. The Summit, co-hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the COP28 Presidency, brought together more than 450 local, regional, and national leaders from 60+ countries to establish a new global paradigm for fully integrated climate action among all levels of government. Mike Bloomberg also led a historic global delegation of twelve mayors and governors to the COP28 World Climate Action Summit, a venue previously reserved only for Heads of State and Government at prior COPs.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ new investment will help scale the work underway by the leading organizations and networks that support local governments to bridge the gap from climate ambition to action, including C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance, the Catalytic Finance Foundation, ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability, the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Sustainability, among others.
“Cities play a pivotal role in achieving our climate goals, a role that is crucial as we work towards a sustainable future,” said Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight. “Bloomberg’s new investment is welcome support for city networks, which are increasingly key partners in our collective efforts to cut emissions, accelerate the energy transition, boost circular economy, and realise the ambitious goals set forth in the Paris Agreement.”
With more than 70 percent of C40 cities reducing emissions at a more rapid pace than their national governments and over 75 percent of Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) signatories setting more ambitious emissions targets than their national governments, local governments continue to exert significant control over their emissions reductions and have the strongest incentive to reduce them to benefit the communities they govern. Despite this, new research from UN-Habitat, the UN Development Programme, and the UNESCO Chair on Urban Resilience at the University of Southern Denmark – supported in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies – shows that less than 30% of 194 NDCs analyzed have dedicated urban sections or urban areas identified as priority sectors.
Bloomberg’s new funding will focus on three key areas:
- Coalition Building: Data and convenings for ambitious coalitions of local, regional and national governments to set and deliver more Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and raise global ambition ahead of COP30.
- Local Climate Finance: Technical assistance to prepare, aggregate, and increase the supply of finance to local climate action projects and technologies and new platforms for mayors to engage with public and private finance providers, including development finance institutions (DFIs), private investors and lenders, and national governments.
- Leadership and innovation: Communications and policy support for the boldest local climate projects—from clean energy to air quality.
This work couldn’t be more important as new Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported research from the World Resources Institute shows that if left unchecked, cities, on average, will experience 29 more extremely hot days if temperatures rise to 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages, with effects being felt even greater in less developed regions.
“To limit warming to 1.5C, more resilient and sustainable cities are key,” said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat and former Mayor of the City Council of Penang Island, Malaysia. “Anyone who has managed a city knows cities are urgently implementing innovative climate solutions. As the Secretary-General said, we are deep in the grip of the climate crisis. More needs to be done faster to harness the full potential of cities around the world. It is not just about every possible dollar but matching public investments in climate adaptation with private financing in energy transition. We also need philanthropy from leaders like Michael Bloomberg; all working together to support the multilevel climate action and collaboration needed to achieve global climate goals.”
Today’s announcement follows more than fifteen years of Mike Bloomberg elevating the role of mayors and local leaders in the global climate fight. In 2007 – the same year Bloomberg launched the groundbreaking PlaNYC effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and create a more sustainable, livable city as three-term Mayor of New York City – he hosted the second C40 Summit, bringing together mayors from major global cities alongside business, and civil society. In 2010, Bloomberg was elected Chair of C40, during which he pioneered C40’s data-driven approach and continued working to expand C40’s impact in the global climate fight. In 2011, Bloomberg Philanthropies began supporting C40, bringing significant resources and infrastructure to create a preeminent global climate action organization. The next year he led a delegation of mayors to the United Nations Rio+20 conference to showcase how cities were charging ahead on climate action while national governments stalled in negotiations. Bloomberg assumed his current role as President of C40’s Board in 2013.
In 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Bloomberg as his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change to raise political will and mobilize action among cities. As Special Envoy, Mike launched the Compact of Mayors to galvanize and support local governments around the world in setting ambitious climate reduction goals, taking ambitious action to meet those objectives, and measuring their progress publicly and transparently.
On the sidelines of COP21 in 2015, where the historic Paris Agreement was achieved, Mike Bloomberg convened a historic Climate Summit for Local Leaders, bringing together hundreds of mayors at Paris City Hall to demonstrate the ambition of the world’s cities and ensure their efforts were reflected in the treaty negotiations. This success led to the merging of the world’s two primary city-led climate change and energy initiatives, the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors, to form the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – a new, first-of-its-kind global initiative of cities and local governments leading in the fight against climate change, which today includes more than 13,000 cities and local governments representing over 1 billion people.
In the wake of the Trump Administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement in 2017, Bloomberg launched the America’s Pledge initiative to aggregate and quantify the actions of cities, states, businesses, and other non-national actors in the United States to drive down their greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement – and ensured the presence of U.S. subnational leaders had a presence at UN Climate talks, despite the absence of the federal government. In 2019, Bloomberg launched the American Cities Climate Challenge to provide powerful resources and support to 25 U.S. mayors to accelerate climate action, using a holistic approach focused on clean buildings and transportation.
Today, Bloomberg continues to serve as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, President of C40 Cities, Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, and Co-Chair of America Is All In.
“The world is running out of time in the fight against climate change,” said Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE of Freetown, Sierra Leone and Co-Chair of C40 Cities. “We need to do more to support climate leaders and action in the Global South and Mayor Bloomberg’s funding will do just that. Mayor Bloomberg’s decades-long support for local climate action has made it possible for transformative change to happen in cities around the world. As the impacts of climate change continue to transform our cities, mayors know that this current decade is the most important of them all and we have no time to waste.”
“As a steadfast ally and advocate for cities, Mike Bloomberg has been a driving force in helping cities like Paris and others worldwide to effectively tackle the climate crisis,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France, and Global Ambassador for the Global Covenant of Mayors. “Back in 2015, we jointly hosted the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, coinciding with the historic signing of the Paris Agreement, to support local leaders in strengthening their climate commitments. Today, as we forge ahead, this renewed investment by Mike Bloomberg marks a crucial milestone, providing cities with the essential backing needed to elevate and strengthen their climate leadership.”
“Cities are both the challenge and the solution in our collective effort to fight climate change,” said Gregor Robertson, Global Ambassador of the Global Covenant of Mayors and former Mayor of Vancouver, Canada. “For years, cities stepped up when national or global leaders faltered. But now, more than ever, they need strong partnerships. I am delighted to see the sustained support from Mike Bloomberg for city networks such as the Global Covenant of Mayors as they build strong partnerships across governments and sectors to accelerate their climate leadership and propel global climate progress.”
About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 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 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.7 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.