By Laura Barron-Lopez - 02/07/14 12:28 PM EST
Former New York City Major Michael Bloomberg says closing coal-fired power plants would make the biggest dent in reducing carbon emissions across the country.
In an interview with NPR, Bloomberg, now a United Nations envoy, was asked to name one thing he'd recommend mayors do that would have the biggest impact on reducing carbon emissions.
"The biggest thing you can do in this county is to close coal-fired power plants," Bloomberg said on Thursday. "They generate a third of all of the emissions."
Fewer coal-fired plants are needed now that buildings have been able to convert to natural gas, Bloomberg added.
President Obama called natural gas the "bridge fuel" in his State of the Union speech to combating climate change.
"People tend to talk about climate change in the year 2050," Bloomberg said. "I would argue we've got to do something right now and you see that around the world."
Bloomberg is now the U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change.