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Michael Bloomberg pledges $500M to shutter U.S. coal plants

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June 7 (UPI) — Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg Pledged Thursday to donate $500 million to a new campaign that aims to shutter U.S. coal plants by 2030 to curb climate change, his philanthropist foundation said.

The money is going to Bloomberg‘s project Beyond Carbon, which is “the largest-ever coordinated campaign against climate change” in the country, its website said, adding that it works “with advocates around the country to build on leadership and climate progress already underway.”

The program aims to transition the United States to 100 percent renewable energy and “ensure that after the 2020 election, the next Administration inherits a country already well on the way to a full clean energy economy,” it said.

“We’re in a race against time with climate change, and yet there is virtually no hope of bold federal action on this issue for at least another two years,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Mother Nature is not waiting on our political calendar, and neither can we.”

He was scheduled to formally announce the plan Friday during his commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

There are 241 coal plants operating in the United States, though 289 plants have closed since 2010, according to Sierra Club, a U.S.-based environmental organization.

President Donald Trump has positioned coal as a key pillar in his energy agenda. However, since taking office, some 50 plants have closed with another 51 announcing that they would also be shuttered, Sierra Club said in a May statement.

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