Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged Sunday to personally cover the United States’ financial obligations to the Paris Climate Accord, after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal last year.
“America made a commitment and, as an American, if the government’s not going to do it, we all have responsibility,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I’m able to do it. So, yes, I’m going to send them a check for the monies that America had promised to the organization as though they got it from the federal government.”
Bloomberg said he would send a check for $4.5 million and hoped that by next year, Trump would change his mind a rejoin the agreement to protect the environment.
“A person that doesn’t change their mind isn’t very smart,” the Jewish billionaire said, adding that Trump “should change his mind and say, look, there really is a problem here.”
Even though the treaty is non-binding and some countries have not lived up to its terms, Bloomberg said that if some countries were doing their part, it was still a good deal.
“If everybody would do the right thing, yes, it would be better,” he said. “But if some people or some countries do the right thing we all benefit from that.”
In June, Trump said the United States was withdrawing from the treaty, and is currently the only country in the world which is not a signatory to the accord to cut down on greenhouse emissions.
By abandoning the world’s chief effort to slow the tide of planetary warming, Trump was fulfilling a top campaign pledge. But he was also breaking from many of America’s staunches allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision.
Bloomberg had harsh comments for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, saying he was not doing his job.
“His job is to protect the environment and he has walked away a hundred percent from that saying, ‘The environment doesn’t need protection. I’m going to try to protect jobs.’ That’s not his job,” Bloomberg said.
When asked how he would grade Trump’s performance as president, Bloomberg was more restrained.
“I would give him an incomplete grade. Some of the things that he’s done, I don’t agree with — the style of changing your mind every day and leaving your staffs out there to make embarrassing things that you don’t back them up,” the former mayor said. “And the turnover in the administration is really dangerous and worrisome and not fair to people. But you know to criticize him doesn’t advance anything.”
But he said the odds that he would run for president himself were “not very high.”
Agencies contributed to this report.