Bloomberg pledges $500 million to close coal-fired power plants

Bloomberg pledges $500 million to close coal-fired power plants

Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump pushes Mexico for 'significantly more' as tariffs loom The Hill's Morning Report — Trump pushes Mexico for 'significantly more' as tariffs loom Bloomberg pledges 0 million to close coal-fired power plants MORE pledged on Thursday to donate $500 million to close the country's remaining coal plants by 2030 in an effort to help combat climate change. 

"I’m committing $500 million to launch @BeyondCarbon the largest-ever coordinated campaign to tackle the climate crisis our country has ever seen," he tweeted Thursday. "This is the fight of our time."

According to its website, Beyond Carbon works with advocates "to build on the leadership and climate progress underway in our states, cities, and communities to maximize the progress on climate change."

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The initiative aims to steer the country back on the path to a completely clean energy economy "and ensure that after the 2020 election, the next Administration inherits a country already well on the way to a full clean energy economy."

The billionaire's investment in the Beyond Carbon initiative represents the largest ever philanthropic effort to reverse climate change, his foundation told The Associated Press.

A spokesman for Bloomberg told The New York Times in a statement that most of the money will be spent over a three-year period and will go toward lobbying efforts by environmental groups in state and city governments and public utility commissions. Some funding will also go toward electing local officials who are focused on clean energy. 

“We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years. Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we,” Bloomberg said, according to the outlet.

According to the Times, more than 280 U.S. coal plants have shut down or announced they would shut down since 2010. Bloomberg's campaign hopes to close the other 241 plants by 2030. 

Bloomberg's plan comes as climate change takes a central role in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. Though he ultimately decided against entering the crowded primary field, Bloomberg's plan will likely put pressure on candidates to lay out more concrete policy positions on the issue of climate change.