NEW YORK, April 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Mayors
globally are increasingly adopting measures to slash greenhouse
gas emissions because it makes them popular with voters, former
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday.
Days after U.S. President Donald Trump dismantled
countrywide climate-change policies, Bloomberg said mayors are
going beyond national government regulations to reduce
greenhouse gases blamed for global warming for political gain.
"This is not ethics, this is politics. That's the real
world," he told the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New
"Elected officials want publicity so they can be re-elected
and keep their jobs," he said at the three-day event. "It's
Bloomberg, who was New York City mayor from 2002 to 2013,
co-chairs the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy,
a group of more than 7,400 cities in 119 countries formed to
swap information on such goals as developing clean energy.
Cities are responsible for an estimated 75 percent of carbon
emissions contributing to climate change and consume 70 percent
of global energy, according to the United Nations Environment
National authorities, in comparison, had historically played
a "relatively unimportant" role in coming up with measures to
curb greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in the United
States, Bloomberg said.
Nearly 200 nations reached a global climate pact in 2015 at
a diplomatic conference held in Paris, with about three quarters
signatories having ratified the pact.
But Trump's promise during his campaign to pull the United
States out of the Paris Agreement has recently forced U.N.
officials to defend its momentum.
The Trump administration also signed an order last week to
undo climate change regulations put in place by the previous
administration in a move to support the coal industry. Trump has
dismissed man-made climate change as a hoax during his campaign.
But Bloomberg said the leadership of the United States in
fighting climate change remained robust as cities were stepping
in to slow global warming amid political gridlock at the federal
"For the foreseeable future our federal government is
basically polarized and immobilized and they're not going to do
anything, that's the bad news," he said.
"The good news is that it probably means they'll stay out of
(Reporting by Sebastien Malo @sebastienmalo, Editing by Belinda
Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the
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change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)