Bloomberg to endorse Clinton as climate change takes center stage at DNC

Photo: Bloomberg Philanthropies

By Denis Dison

Philanthropist and business leader Mike Bloomberg plans to endorse Hillary Clinton tonight in a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention, a somewhat unexpected move for a registered Independent who was first elected mayor of New York City as a Republican.

According to a report in the New York Times, Bloomberg has long been at odds with much of the rhetoric and policy positions emanating from Donald Trump’s campaign, but he’s also closer to Clinton on a some key issues, including gun reform, immigration and climate change.

The Obama administration has taken critical and historic steps on climate, but much work remains. That’s why Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in partnerships with the Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC Action Fund, Sierra Club and other groups to help move America toward a clean energy future and away from coal and other fossil fuels.

Bloomberg, the UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, is likely to say that addressing climate change is one of the reasons he’s endorsing Clinton. This year the two major party platforms, and the energy policies spelled out by their nominees, could not be more different on issues of climate and clean energy. On the GOP side, climate change is dismissed by the nominees as a “hoax” and “myth,” and the party’s energy platform relies heavily on drilling for and burning more dirty fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, Democrats plan to move the climate issue to center stage tonight in Philadelphia, when they will screen a 5–1/2 minute movie on the subject directed by James Cameron and Maria Wilhelm. The party platform calls for speeding up America’s transition to a clean energy economy by favoring renewable energy over the dirty fuels of the past.

Off the convention floor, environmental leaders and pro-climate public officials gathered yesterday to boost the issue and discuss its relevance in the 2016 election. “Climate matters!” said Rhea Suh, president of the NRDC Action Fund, speaking at a reception hosted by major environmental groups. “This is our issue. This is our time.”

Denis Dison is communications director at the NRDC Action Fund.