Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he will personally make up the $15m in funding that the United Nations will lose after Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord.
The US would have been required to contribute that amount towards efforts to prevent catastrophic climate change under the historic agreement between 195 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Americans are not walking away from the Paris climate agreement,” Mr Bloomberg said on Thursday, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Just the opposite – we are forging ahead. Mayors, governors, and business leaders from both political parties are signing on to a statement of support that we will submit to the UN and together, we will reach the emission reduction goals the United States made in Paris in 2015
The billionaire philanthropist added: “Americans will honour and fulfil the Paris agreement by leading from the bottom up — and there isn’t anything Washington can do to stop us.”
Mr Trump announced on Thursday that the US – the world’s second biggest CO2 producer – would withdraw from the landmark agreement to cut climate emissions, making it one of only three nations in the world that will not be signed up.
The other two are Nicaragua, which does not think the requirements are stringent enough, and Syria which is embroiled in a bitter conflict.
Also on Thursday, The New York Times cited a letter from Mr Bloomberg to UN Secretary-General António Guterres in which the businessman said other elements of US government and society should take the lead on climate change where Mr Trump had failed to do so.
Mr Bloomberg is a UN special envoy for local leaders, tasked with meeting the Paris climate targets.
Mr Bloomberg joins a growing list of politicians and business leaders to condemn Mr Trump’s move.