Bloomberg unveils plan to combat climate change, cut emissions by 50 percent in 10 years

Bloomberg unveils plan to combat climate change, cut emissions by 50 percent in 10 years
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White House hopeful Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire Chicago mayor weighing possible Bloomberg endorsement Judge Judy's verdict: Ignoring Bloomberg's record to endorse others made no sense MORE on Friday unveiled his plan to combat climate change, setting a series of deadlines he would meet to curb emissions. 

The former New York City mayor’s plan would get the country toward a 100 percent “clean-energy economy-wide future” by 2050, slash emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and ensure 80 percent clean electricity by the end of his second term in office.

“The president refuses to lead on climate change, so the rest of us must," said Bloomberg. "I’ve been all in on this fight for more than a decade - and having helped close more than half the nation's dirty coal plants, having cut New York City's carbon footprint by 14 percent, having led a coalition of cities, states, and businesses committed to the Paris Agreement, I know that we can win.

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“We’ve proven that you can transition to clean energy and strengthen the economy at the same time," he continued. "As president, I'll accelerate our transition to a 100% clean energy economy.”

Bloomberg would accomplish his plan by working to phase out emissions in the electricity sector, replacing all coal plants with clean energy no later than 2030 and setting firm dates to retire specific sites. He would also end all subsidies for fossil fuels and put in place a moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases on federal lands. 

With all the closures and adjustments at plants, Bloomberg maintained that he would deliver promised benefits to coal field workers and provide them job transition support. 

The plan also calls for ramping up the deployment of clean energy projects by improving the permitting process for offshore wind projects, extending and expanding solar and wind tax credits, and quadrupling the federal investment in research and development for clean energy and a clean grid to at least $25 billion a year.

Bloomberg has long been an advocate for action to curb climate change. He helped establish the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which has shuttered 299 coal-fired plants since 2011, and helped create America’s Pledge, a coalition of mayors, governors, business leaders, and others committed to keeping the U.S. on track to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Accord after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE announced his withdrawal from the deal. 

Climate change has emerged as a focal point of the Democratic 2020 primary, with candidates debating how quickly the country needs to completely phase out fossil fuels.