Former New York City Mayor and possible 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg said Sunday that the United States is meeting the goals of Paris Climate Accords despite withdrawing from the agreement.
Last year President Donald Trump announced the U.S. pullout from the Paris climate accord, a global agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions. "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked Bloomberg what the impact would be if the U.S. decided to rejoin the agreement.
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"Not a lot because we are halfway there towards meeting our goals already," Bloomberg said. "Somebody said ‘oh, you know, you're never going to get this. It's ridiculous to think that America is going to meet its goals.' We're half way there already and there's seven years left to go. The economics of coal means no one will stop the reduction in the amount of coal. We've done a bunch of things that we promised to do under that agreement that Trump said we're not going to do; he walked away."
Trump's withdrawal drew strong rebukes not only from Democratic lawmakers, but also from Trump's predecessor. The Paris deal is an agreement that 195 nations signed, committing to develop their own plans to combat climate change. The United States pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 26-28 percent and provide $3 billion in aid to developing countries by 2020.
"He hasn't fully walked away," Todd said.
"He can't pull out until 2020, but for example, he stopped and America owed some money to help pay for the management of these programs. He walked away from it," Bloomberg said. "In the end, he did some of it or the federal government did some and my foundation paid their $5 million to pay what our obligation is. He didn't walk away because he didn't have a lot to do with it. All of the things that were done have done by the private sector, individuals and companies."
"Is that the real answer? Should we give up government?" Todd asked.
"It would be a lot more helpful if we had a climate champion rather than a climate denier in the White House," Bloomberg responded.
Bloomberg's interview was part of NBC's plan to devote a full hour of "Meet the Press" to climate change.
"We're not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period. We're not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not," Todd said at the beginning of his show.