UNITED NATIONS – Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was appointed Friday to be the U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change, a position that will give the billionaire businessman and philanthropist an international stage to press for action to combat global warming.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chose Bloomberg, who made combating climate change a major focus of his 12 years as mayor and was very outspoken on how cities should be run to cope with ever increasing populations without harming the environment.
U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Bloomberg will assist the U.N. chief in his consultations with mayors and other key parties “to raise political will and mobilize action among cities as part of his longer-term strategy to advance efforts on climate change.”
The secretary-general also wants Bloomberg to bring “concrete solutions” to the climate summit he is hosting in New York on Sept. 23 to try to galvanize action to combat climate change, Haq said.
“Cities are taking measurable action to reduce emissions, emerging as leaders in the battle against climate change,” Bloomberg, 71, said in a tweet. “I look forward to working with cities around the world and the UN to accelerate progress” to combat global warming.
Bloomberg served three terms as the mayor of the largest U.S. city before handing the reins to Bill de Blasio on Jan. 1.