Earth Day 2018: Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5M to Paris Climate agreement

FILE PHOTO: Special envoy to the United Nations for climate change Michael Bloomberg speaks during the One-on-One discussion panel with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde on side of the IMF/World Bank spring meeting (Reuters)

Former New York City mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg said Sunday he will write a $4.5 million check to cover the cost of the U.S.’ financial commitment to the 2015 Paris Climate agreement.

“Our foundation will uphold our promise to cover any cuts to UN climate funding by the federal government – and the American people will uphold our end of the Paris Agreement, with or without Washington,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

More than 100 countries have pledged their support for the climate pact, which went into effect in November 2016 and aims to keep the global temperature from rising by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit since the beginning of the industrial age. The Earth has warmed approximately 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the Industrial Revolution, which many scientists say is a result of the “greenhouse effect” -- which humans contribute to by burning fossil fuels: oil, coal and natural gas.

President Trump – a vocal critic of the pact – officially announced last August that the U.S. would pull out of the agreement as soon as the country is eligible to do so, which is three years after it went into effect. The year-long withdrawal process would mean the earliest the U.S. could exit the pact is Nov. 4, 2020, according to The Associated Press – one day after the next presidential election.

At the time of the announcement, the State Department said Trump is “open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement,” under certain terms that would be more favorable to the U.S., its businesses and its taxpayers.

"He's been known to change his mind. That is true. But he should change his mind and say, ‘look there really is a problem here. America is part of the problem. America is a big part of the solution and we should go in and help the world stop a potential disaster,’” Bloomberg said Sunday during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”