Mike Bloomberg — long discussed as a potential contender for the Presidency of the United States in 2020 — announced today that he will not join the Democratic primary. Instead, he is launching a new campaign called Beyond Carbon. His goal is to motivate as much support as possible, as soon as possible, to accelerate the transition to climate-smart energy production.
The 3-term former New York City Mayor said he believes voters “want someone who levels with them, even when they disagree, and who is capable of offering practical, sensible, and ambitious ideas — and of solving problems and delivering results.”
It is in that spirit — “practical, sensible, and ambitious … solving problems and delivering results” — that Bloomberg announced he will be committing his time and resources to building “a grassroots effort to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy.”
A key part of this process will be closing down all coal-fired power plants in the United States within 11 years. 2030 is the year after which the science reported through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds it will be too late to avoid global warming above 1.5ºC. Science suggests global warming above 1.5ºC would bring climate change so disruptive as to be irreversibly catastrophic and unaffordable.
Mr. Bloomberg said his decision is motivated by the fact that “Mother Nature does not wait on our political calendar”, noting that “every year matters”. His new campaign should be expected to put a persistent focus on the benefits of the clean energy transition to human health, the environment, finance and investment, and the wider economy.
From the standpoint of driving political will and moving industry, the Beyond Carbon effort may well do more to ensure climate action becomes a popular priority in the U.S. in 2020 than a strictly political campaign would have done.
Whatever the description of the effort — Beyond Carbon, 100% renewable energy, Green New Deal, phasing out climate pollution — the work of achieving a 100% climate-smart energy system is a vital interest shared by all people. We support Mr. Bloomberg in welcoming this challenge, and we commit to work for a rapid transition to emissions-free sustainable prosperity and wellbeing.