New York billionaire and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg contradicted President Donald Trump’s climate policies Tuesday, Dec. 10, assuring the world that the United States will rejoin the Paris accord.
Bloomberg, who launched his 2020 campaign less than three weeks ago, spoke during a trip to the U.N. global climate conference in Madrid. He told activists, scientists, and politicians, at the conference that Americans are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions “even with a climate change denier in the White House.”
Together with former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Al Gore, Bloomberg constituted a sort of shadow delegation at a time when President Trump is pulling the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.
As other Democratic candidates have done, Bloomberg vowed to immediately rejoin the pact if elected president.
“The first thing you do, Day One, is you say we’re going back in,” he said. “That’s a no-brainer.”
He touted a report that said nonfederal actors representing more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy are on course to cut the nation’s emissions by 37% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. If the next administration joins in, that figure could rise to 49%, bringing the United States roughly in line with the Paris treaty, according to the report.
“Americans are willing to continue to work, even with a climate change denier in the White House,” the 77-year-old businessman told a packed room.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.,) also led 15 U.S. lawmakers to participate in the climate talks in Madrid, declaring that the United States is “still in” the Paris climate accord.
“By coming here we want to say to everyone we are still in, the United States is still in,” Pelosi told reporters.
Bloomberg, who has made climate change a central pillar of his bid for the nomination, also called for an end to U.S. subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, The Trump administration sent a delegation to the talks, led by a career diplomat, Marcia Bernicat , former U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh.
The Trump administration last month formally pulled out from the 2015 Paris Agreement, over two years after President Trump announced his plan to do so. The president has criticized the nonbinding agreement, signed by 195 countries, saying other countries would benefit from the climate accord while the U.S. economy suffers. Wealthier countries such as the United States had pledged to assist financially struggling countries meet their greenhouse-gas emissions-reduction goals.
“What we won’t do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters,” Trump said in October.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press