Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was appointed to the U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change, a group that strives to give businessmen and philanthropists an international stage to discuss global warming.
Bloomberg expressed his gratitude and excitement on Twitter. “Cities are taking measurable action to reduce emissions, emerging as leaders in the battle against climate change,” he tweeted. “I look forward to working with cities around the world and the UN to accelerate progress.”
Other politicians offered support to Bloomberg in his new position. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tweeted on the appointment, writing, “We need your energy and hard work to help address climate change.” Meanwhile, advocate and philanthropist Al Gore tweeted: “Mike Bloomberg will bring leadership & unique experience to UN Special Envoy post — an important job at a crucial time.”
Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, also welcomed his appointment on Twitter. “Mayor Mike Bloomberg knows how to get things done. We need more leaders like him here @UN,” she tweeted.
According to the Associated Press, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chose Bloomberg because of his major focus on combating climate change during his twelve years as mayor. The former NYC mayor was outspoken on how cities should cope with increasing populations, such as New York’s, without damaging the environment.
According to the New York Times, Ban said Bloomberg will assist him in "consultations with mayors and related key stakeholders, in order to raise political will and mobilize action among cities as part of his long-term strategy to advance efforts on climate change."
Bloomberg has had a major hand in monitoring New York’s global footprint. Last year, Bloomberg said that New York City’s air quality hit its highest levels in 50 years, and now has the cleanest air of any major city. He also said that the level of sulfur dioxide in the air has gone down by 69% since 2008.
"Cities account for more than 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and two-thirds of the world's energy use today, and their total population is projected to double by 2050," Bloomberg said in a statement. “So the steps they take now to combat climate change will have a major impact on the future of our planet. Cities have shown they have the capacity and the will to meet this challenge.”
Bloomberg’s appointment as U.N. special envoy is for two years.