Combine Bill Clinton’s network and influence with Michael Bloomberg’s billions of dollars and what do you get? A potent combination for dealing with climate change, the two men hope. The former president and New York mayor recently merged their climate-change initiatives, and will share the stage for the first time as partners this week at a conference in Brazil, the New York Times reports. Climate change is “one of the two or three biggest challenges in the world,” Clinton says. “But if we can prove that this is good economics, good public health, and fights the most calamitous consequences of climate change, then we will have done a world of good.”
Clinton started his efforts six years ago with officials from 40 of the largest cities in the world, but the group, known as C40, was underfunded. Bloomberg came in last year pledging $6 million a year, and won himself the chairmanship. (Clinton is predictably gracious about the move; one of his advisers, however, anonymously implies Bloomberg muscled his way in.) Unlike Al Gore, who focuses on grass-roots activism and increased awareness of climate change, Clinton and Bloomberg are focusing on specific projects in cities, like retrofitting buildings and switching to energy-efficient streetlights.