Michael Bloomberg speaks on stage during The Robin Hood Foundation's 2018 benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on 14 May 2018 in New York City. Photo: Kevin Mazur / Robin Hood / Getty Images

15 June 2018 (Second Nexus) – When President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, he didn’t just damage the global environment. He damaged the country’s reputation. Since World War II, the United States has pledged to be a global leader, using its wealth, power and influence to make decisions that impact people around the planet. World leaders saw the U.S. as an example and its president as “leader of the free world.” That is no longer the case. Instead, some are hoping, the acts of individual Americans could signal to the rest of the world that Trump doesn’t speak for all Americans.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg said that if the government of the second-largest polluting country won’t participate in this near-global agreement, then it’s up to individuals to step up. He put his money where his mouth is, pledging to donate $4.5 million of his own money to the operations of the UN Climate Change Secretariat in 2018, and will do so again next year if the U.S. continues to stand with climate deniers.

“America made a commitment and as an American, if the government’s not going to do it we all have responsibility,” Bloomberg said. “I’m able to do it. So, yes, I’m going to send them a check for the monies that America had promised to the organization as though they got it from the federal government.”

In 2017, Bloomberg’s foundation donated $15 million as a non-governmental pledge to stay in the agreement, a statement to the world that U.S. citizens still care about the environment and future generations, even if the leaders in its government do not. However, without government support for other activities to limit greenhouse gas emissions, that support is limited. The Trump administration is not only removing support for science-based efforts to protect the climate and environment that help support the goals set forth in the Paris Agreement to curb emissions, it is actively reversing them.

A Pew Research Center survey of 37 countries in 2017 found that worldwide confidence in the U.S. has plummeted. Even before Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, Trump was seen by respondents as “arrogant, intolerant, and even dangerous.” Trump’s global unpopularity impacts how the United States is viewed. Only 22 percent of countries had a positive image of the U.S. under Trump, compared to Obama’s 64 percent  — only Russia and Israel gave him higher marks. [more]

Michael Bloomberg Pledges to Donate $4.5 Million to the UN Climate Change Secretariat to Make Up for Trump’s Shortfall

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