United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Michael Bloomberg, who just ended his three-term, 12-year mayoralty of New York City in December, as his special envoy for cities and climate change.
Bloomberg, who will be unpaid, will assist Ban in consultations with mayors and related parties to raise the “political will and mobilize action” among cities to further universal progress in dealing with climate change, the announcement from the UN said. That work includes “bringing concrete solutions” to this year’s climate summit, being held at the UN on Sept. 23.
Ban, the announcement noted, has invited leaders from governments, businesses, finance and civil-society organizations to bring “bold” actions to the summit to engender more ambitious action on climate change. Summits in the last several years have barely mustered universal responses, with no formal treaty replacing the Kyoto Protocol, for starters, which ended in 2012. An amendment was adopted, but it has not entered into force.
The UN says that “cities play an essential role in developing and implementing actions and driving ambition,” thus affecting positive steps toward climate change.
Bloomberg was the 108th mayor of New York, from 2002 to 2013. He began his career in 1966 at Salomon Brothers and started Bloomberg LP in 1981, a financial news and information company, which now competes with other media outlets worldwide, particular on business topics. In 2007, Bloomberg addressed the UN climate change convention in Bali, Indonesia. His charity, Bloomberg Foundation, is working on global health issues, among other concerns. He is also board president of the C40 Climate Leadership Group, a network of large cities worldwide working on climate change. His relationship with the UN during his tenure as mayor was considered somewhat detached yet cordial.
Bloomberg’s sister, Marjorie Tiven, was until December Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs since 2002, a post that involved liaising with the UN and its diplomatic community in the city. Recently, her office said she was taking time to wrap up 12 years of business before she announced her next plans.
New York City and the UN: Cool but Useful Partners
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Dulcie Leimbach is a co-founder, with Barbara Crossette, of PassBlue. For PassBlue and other publications, Leimbach has reported from New York and overseas from West Africa (Burkina Faso and Mali) and from Europe (Scotland, Sicily, Vienna, Budapest, Kyiv, Armenia, Iceland and The Hague). She has provided commentary on the UN for BBC World Radio, ARD German TV and Radio, NHK’s English channel, Background Briefing with Ian Masters/KPFK Radio in Los Angeles and the Foreign Press Association.
Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention Against Corruption; from 2008 to 2011, she was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA. Before UNA, Leimbach was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years, editing and writing for most sections of the paper, including the Magazine, Book Review and Op-Ed. She began her reporting career in small-town papers in San Diego, Calif., and Boulder, Colo., graduating to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and then working at The Times. Leimbach has been a fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies as well as at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; taught news reporting at Hofstra University; and guest-lectured at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Journalism School. She graduated from the University of Colorado and has an M.F.A. in writing from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.