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.