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Michael Bloomberg says he's sending $4.5 million to help fund the Paris climate deal, cover US commitments

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Getty Images
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said Sunday he would donate $4.5 million to help cover some of the United States' financial commitments to the Paris Climate Accord.

"America made a commitment and as an American, if the government's not going to do it we all have responsibility," Bloomberg told CBS on Sunday. "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."

Last year, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S would withdraw from the Paris Agreement and commence negotiations to re-enter or negotiate a new accord.

The historic deal had been reached in Paris at the end of 2015, with the participation of former President Barack Obama. Under the agreement, world leaders committed to making sure global warming stayed "well below" two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. They also agreed to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In a statement Sunday, Bloomberg's charity Bloomberg Philanthropies said the $4.5 million would go towards the operations of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. The organization added that Bloomberg would make extra funds available to the UN Climate Change Secretariat if the U.S. continued to "fail to pay its share of the UN climate budget in 2019."

Bloomberg's announcement was welcomed by Patricia Espinosa, the UN Climate Change Secretariat's executive secretary. "When countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise, they also recognized that achieving that goal would take broad-based global climate action in all sectors, public and private," she said.

"I welcome this generous contribution from Bloomberg Philanthropies as an important, practical recognition of our need to work together, and to step up our response to climate change."