Michael Bloomberg Wants to Wean the World from Coal by 2040
The former New York City mayor and current UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions announced today that his philanthropic organization will work with national and local governments in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America to end the use of coal by 2040.
The billionaire made the announcement at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit in Egypt.
Bloomberg has long been an advocate for clean energy. In 2019, he donated $500 million to a campaign that shut down all coal-fired power plants in the U.S.
“We’ve helped to close more than two-thirds of coal plants in the U.S. and put more than half of Europe’s on track for retirement – and we need to make progress like that all around the world,” Bloomberg said. His new venture doesn’t have a price tag but it has two distinct goals.
- Working with national and local governments to develop energy transition plans, implement the necessary public policies, and provide the skills and training to accelerate clean energy development and phase out fossil fuel use.
- Partnering with the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) to help mobilize the flow of private capital to clean energy transition projects in emerging markets and developing countries.
The problem of coal dependence
Coal is the dominant source of electricity generation in most countries in Africa and Asia. But coal produces more carbon emissions than any other fuel on earth, according to the U.S. Energy Information Associating, leading to poor air quality, health, and climate. Despite this, alternative fuels like solar and wind are often too expensive and out of reach for developing nations.
“Overcoming the hurdles that stand in the way of investment – requires partnership across government, business, and philanthropy,” said Bloomberg. It also requires technical assistance, economic and policy analysis. This side of energy development is often overlooked but can make the difference between investing in clean power and coal. “
Reaching the goals of net-zero emissions requires investment not only from governments but the private sector.
“We need to mobilize significant private capital to clean energy and the responsible accelerated retirement of coal,” said Mark Carney, Co-chair of GFANZ and UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance. Bloomberg’s partnership, he says, can “help unlock finance on the scale required to support energy transitions in emerging markets and developing countries.” “
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