Former Independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City has asserted that U.S. mayors will lead the way in curbing American contributions to climate change, even if a skeptical President-elect Donald Trump reverses environmental regulations.
On Nov. 22, Bloomberg addressed the issue of climate change during a conference held by the China General Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
"In the wake of the presidential election, there has been much speculation about whether the U.S. will fulfill the pledges our nation made in Paris," Bloomberg said, according to Bloomberg View.
Trump has historically been a skeptic of man-made contributions to climate change.
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"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive," Trump tweeted Nov. 6, 2012.
During the 2016 presidential race, the business mogul had vowed to rescind the majority of President Barack Obama's environmental regulations and to tear up the U.S. involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement.
On Nov. 22, Trump had signaled that his views on climate change may have evolved since the campaign trail during an interview with The New York Times.
"I think right now … well, I think there is some connectivity," Trump said. "There is, there is something. It depends on how much. It also depends on how much it's going to cost our companies."
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Regarding the Paris Climate Agreement, Trump added: "I have an open mind to it."
Despite indicating a growing open-mindedness on man-made climate change being a reality, Trump had vowed Nov. 21 to rescind environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration within his first 100 days in office, according to CNN.
"I can't tell you what Donald Trump's administration will do — and in all fairness, they will need time to figure it out themselves," Bloomberg said. "What's said on the campaign trail is one thing: actually carrying out a specific policy is another."
The former New York City mayor added that he is confident that even if a Trump administration reverses Obama's stance on climate change, America will still "meet the pledges that the U.S. made in Paris."
Bloomberg explained that cities, private businesses and U.S. citizens "will continue reducing emissions, because they have concluded — just as China has — that doing so is in their own self-interest… progress has been driven by cities, businesses and citizens — and none of them are letting up now."
The former mayor concluded that future administrations will face mounting pressure as "Americans come to realize what climate change means to their families and their futures — by seeing the increasingly severe impact of storms, droughts and other weather events — they will demand action from the federal government, too."