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Annual Report / Environment

Annual Report 2021: Environment

Tackling the Global Climate Crisis

The Environment program works with key partners, including mayors and other government officials, business leaders, grassroots partners, and environmental advocates, to implement bold programs that tackle the climate crisis and help build a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable economy. These efforts are accelerating the transition from coal to clean energy, improving air quality and public health, advancing city climate action, protecting and preserving ocean ecosystems, and helping unlock billions of dollars in sustainable finance.


Supporting International Climate Action at COP26 in Glasgow

In his role as the UN Secretary-General‘s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Mike Bloomberg joins members of the C40 Cities World Mayors Summit at COP26

In his role as the UN Secretary-General‘s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Mike Bloomberg joins members of the C40 Cities World Mayors Summit at COP26.

As official partners of COP26, the UN’s climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. rolled out 85 climate actions in the 60 days leading up to the conference to support the UN’s climate agenda. Among many more, these actions included:

  • Committing new funding to strengthen capacity to fight climate change across the UN and promote ambition and solutions
  • Joining a first-of-its-kind alliance of more than 20 philanthropic organizations to support efforts to drastically cut global methane emissions
  • Launching a new Climate Innovation Fund in partnership with Goldman Sachs and the Asian Development Bank to accelerate the transition to clean energy in South and Southeast Asia

Mike Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, joined world leaders and climate advocates at the conference. At the summit, Mike: 

  • Announced a major expansion of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ work to end coal around the world
  • Joined White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and non-federal leaders to champion federal and local climate partnership and announce additional support for America Is All In 
  • Joined Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, in hosting the finalists and winners of The Earthshot Prize, to whom Mike serves as Global Advisor
  • Was announced as co-chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ)
  • Supported the launch of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, a new coalition advancing the phase-out of oil and gas production

Learn more about Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support for international climate action.

Accelerating the Transition to Clean Energy

Beyond Carbon

Launched in 2019, Beyond Carbon builds on the success of the U.S. Beyond Coal campaign, led by the Sierra Club and backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, that has helped retire more than two-thirds of all U.S. coal plants in just a decade. Beyond Carbon is working to retire all U.S. coal plants by 2030, stop the construction of proposed gas plants, and – through Mike’s personal political support – help win elections and policy changes at the state and local levels. It is the largest coordinated campaign to fight climate change in U.S. history.

In addition to retiring the majority of U.S. coal plants, these efforts have helped pass key laws in states across the country. Fifteen states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., now have laws putting them on the path to reaching 100 percent clean energy or achieving net zero emissions. The campaign has also blocked 30 gigawatts of planned gas capacity from being constructed.

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The Mitchell Power Station, a coal-fired power plant in western Pennsylvania, closed as a result of Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported efforts to retire all U.S. coal plants by 2030.

Global Campaign to End Coal

In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the grassroots Europe Beyond Coal campaign to close coal plants and drive the transition to clean energy across the continent, building on the success of U.S. Beyond Coal. The campaign has since helped retire more than half of Europe’s coal plants, and 23 European countries have now committed to a complete coal phase-out. The effort led to the launch of similar campaigns in Australia, Japan, and South Korea. Bloomberg Philanthropies also supports efforts to move from coal to clean energy in China, India, and Indonesia.

At COP26, Mike Bloomberg announced a major expansion of this work in 25 low- and middle-income countries where coal power is projected to grow rapidly. The expansion will work to close a quarter of the world’s 2,445 remaining coal plants and block all 519 proposed plants by 2025. With the Powering Past Coal Alliance, Bloomberg Philanthropies also launched the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown, a comprehensive online resource tracking the status of every global plant.

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Improving Global Air Quality

Air Pollution

Air pollution is a major threat to public health, and it is often caused by significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Bloomberg Philanthropies supports air quality management projects in Brussels, Belgium; Jakarta, Indonesia; London, United Kingdom; Milan, Italy; and Paris, France, and key national partnerships, including in India and Indonesia, to manage air pollution and support the transition to clean energy.

In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered with London Mayor Sadiq Khan to launch the Breathe London program, which provides 60 community air quality sensors to gather and share real-time air quality data. The effort has supported the city’s ambitious air quality agenda, including the expansion of vehicle emissions limits to cover more of the city.

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In Brussels, Belgium, local partners are collecting air sensor data from 3,000 locations as part of the city’s largest citizen science project. Credit: Bas Bogaerts

Accelerating Local Climate Action with Mike’s Leadership

America Is All In

America Is All In is the most expansive coalition of leaders ever assembled in support of U.S. climate action, including thousands of cities, states, tribal nations, businesses, and other organizations. Mike Bloomberg serves as co-chair. In October 2021, the coalition released a comprehensive roadmap for the United States to draw on critical contributions from local leaders and achieve its new national climate target: reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030 – which the coalition successfully helped advocate for the Biden administration to announce. The report, Blueprint 2030, lays out specific policies and actions that can help the country reach its Paris Agreement goals.

Mike stands with local leaders taking action through America Is All In.

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is a network of more than 11,000 cities and local governments that works to create ambitious, measurable targets to reduce and limit greenhouse gas emissions. Mike serves as co-chair with Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission. At COP26, the Global Covenant was awarded the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, in recognition of its outstanding efforts to enhance and support city climate action around the world. The €1 million prize will advance two critical infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa to help mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a global network of nearly 100 major cities whose mayors have committed to cutting emissions and becoming more resilient to the effects of climate change. Mike serves as board president. In 2021, C40 continued releasing critical data on the power and importance of city climate action. Fifteen cities joined C40’s Renewable Energy Declaration to prioritize clean energy systems for residents. The network also rallied more than 1,000 cities to join the Race to Zero campaign with commitments to reach net zero emissions by 2050. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was recently named C40 chair, taking over from the outgoing chair, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

American Cities Climate Challenge

Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the American Cities Climate Challenge to help 25 major U.S. cities develop and implement effective climate policies. Focused on reducing emissions from buildings and transportation, the two largest sources of emissions in most cities, the program provides powerful resources and support, including embedded staff, technical assistance, and implementation expertise. After their participation in the program, including launching 76 new climate programs and passing 60 major buildings, energy, and transportation policies, the 25 cities are projected to reduce their carbon emissions by 83 million metric tons through 2030. Collectively, they are expected to cut emissions by 32 percent by 2025, surpassing the Paris Agreement goals.

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See How Winning Cities Are Passing Major Policies And Launching Climate Programs

Spotlight Cities

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Boston, MA

City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that requires the city’s largest buildings to meet increasingly aggressive emissions reduction targets over time.

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St. Paul, MN

The city eliminated minimum parking requirements and launched an ambitious new policy that encourages more walking, biking, and transit-friendly development.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles launched a $75 million program to provide energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electrification incentives for low-income renters.


Orlando, FL

City Council passed an ordinance requiring electric vehicle charging stations in many new developments, with additional infrastructure to install future chargers.

Protecting Livelihoods of Coastal Communities

Vibrant Oceans Initiative

The Vibrant Oceans Initiative works to protect the world’s ocean from the threats of climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Focusing on 10 countries that produce more than 80 percent of all fish caught worldwide, the initiative advocates for policy changes, funds reef conservation, and promotes sharing data on fisheries, while building partnerships with governments and other philanthropic funders.

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Over the last three years, the initiative’s partners have helped pass 17 policies in 12 countries and nearly 100 additional state or local policies to safeguard coastal ecosystems and local economies. This work has also helped protect more than 9.3 million square miles of ocean – nearly three times the land area of the United States. As part of the global effort to improve transparency, eight countries have now committed to publishing fishing data on Global Fishing Watch. Data is also available on the Bloomberg Terminal.

Mobilizing Markets to Tackle Climate Change

Sustainable Finance

Bloomberg Philanthropies supports efforts to bring greater transparency to the financial impacts of climate change. This work focuses on improving companies’ disclosure of risks associated with climate change, advancing emissions reduction goals across markets and financial institutions, and helping mobilize capital to finance the transition to clean energy.

Partner organizations advancing this work with Mike Bloomberg’s leadership and support include the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI), and the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF), formerly the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. In 2022, the Value Reporting Foundation will consolidate under the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, which has established the International Sustainability Standards Board to create new global sustainability disclosure standards for financial markets.

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Top photo: Mike Bloomberg and HRH Prince William host the finalists and winners of The Royal Foundation‘s Earthshot Prize in Glasgow, Scotland.