Michael Bloomberg to spend $500 million to close coal plants

(Reuters News, 7 Jun 2019) The "Beyond Carbon" initiative will lobby to close about 250 coal-fired power plants by 2030 and make the country fully reliant on clean energy.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday he would contribute $500 million toward closing coal-fired power plants across the United States, in a clash with White House efforts to revive a fossil fuel blamed for climate change.

The billionaire philanthropist's foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, said its Beyond Carbon initiative would lobby to close about 250 coal-fired power plants by 2030 and make the country fully reliant on clean energy.

"We're in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years," he said, when U.S. President Donald Trump's current term in office ends.

The U.N. World Meteorological Organization said last November global temperatures were on course for a 3C to 5C (5.4 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) increase this century, far overshooting a global target of limiting the increase to 2C or less.

Trump has vowed to pull the United States out of a 2015 global accord to fight climate change and has backed continuing planet-warming extraction and use of fossil fuels.

The donation by Bloomberg, tapped last year to become the U.N. Secretary General's special envoy for cities and climate change, was the "largest-ever philanthropic effort to fight the climate crisis", his philanthropic group said in a statement.

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Reuters News, 7 Jun 2019: Michael Bloomberg to spend $500 million to close coal plants