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Michael Bloomberg will pay US$4.5 million to the UN Climate Change Secretariat in a bid to make sure that the United States upholds its commitment to the Paris Agreement despite the fact that President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal last year.
Bloomberg is a Special Envoy for Climate Action and pledged to fill the funding gap left after Trump’s pull-out last year. Indeed, the US$4.5-million check will represent 60 percent of the U.S.’s financial contribution to the UN Climate Change Secretariat. More money will come from an omnibus spending bill passed by Congress earlier this year, which allocated US$3 million to the UN agency.
The founder of Bloomberg has also promised to make more payments should Washington fail to contribute as per its Paris Agreement commitments despite the pull-out. The promise is part of the We Are Still In campaign that Michael Bloomberg started last year, aiming to reassure the international community that even if the federal government is against the concerted climate change tacking effort, the country still supports the Paris Agreement goals.
The main goal of the Paris Agreement is to curb the global warming rate to below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times, or better still, to below 1.5 degrees. However, there has been research suggesting that the amount of investments currently made in renewable energy capacity is insufficient to put these targets within reach, and there is also controversy over the goals themselves.
Some climate scientists argue that the temperature targets in the document are too vague and do not represent a comprehensive picture of the planet. Notably, they said, the surface temperature dataset used to estimate the rate of global warming covers 84 rather than 100 percent of the Earth’s surface. This excludes important areas from a global warming perspective such as the Arctic, where temperatures are rising faster.
At the same time, critics say, the dataset uses sea surface temperatures for oceans, and these warm more slowly than the air above the water. This too could be confusing in tracking the progress of the Paris Agreement and, perhaps more importantly, on the funding required to hit the targets.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.