New York, April 23: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he will pay $4.5 million to cover the lapsed US financial commitment to the Paris climate accord. He said he had a responsibility to help improve the environment because of US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal, the BBC reported. “America made a commitment and, as an American, if the government’s not going to do it then we all have a responsibility,” Bloomberg told CBS on “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “I’m able to do it. So, yes, I’m going to send them a cheque for the monies that America had promised to the organisation as though they got it from the federal government.”
In January, Trump said the US could “conceivably” return to the deal if it treated America more fairly. “It’s an agreement that I have no problem with but I had a problem with the agreement that they (the Obama administration) signed,” he had told reporters. Bloomberg said he hoped that by 2019 Trump would reconsider his position on the deal, the BBC reported. “He’s been known to change his mind, that is true,” he said. “America is a big part of the solution and we should go in and help the world stop a potential disaster.” His charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies, offered $15 million to cover a separate climate change shortfall in 2017. It said the money would go to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the BBC report said.
US’ withdrawal was announced in June 2017 and had sparked international condemnation. It will make the US in effect the only country not to be part of the Paris accord. The Paris agreement commits the US and 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (IANS)