The United Nations has named former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg to be a special envoy for climate action, The New York Times reported Monday.
The U.N.’s secretary general António Guterres praised Bloomberg’s commitment to leading on environmental issues at a Monday press conference announcing the appointment.
“The world has those that follow and those that lead. And those that lead, some lead in the wrong direction and some lead in the right direction,” Guterres said.
“You are of those that lead and have always led in the right direction, and it is an enormous privilege for me to be able to work so closely with you,” he added.
Bloomberg, a top supporter of the Paris Climate Accords reached in 2015, has vocally criticized President Trump ‘s decision last year to exit the multi-nation agreement aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“President Trump’s vow to withdraw from the Paris agreement by 2020 was a troubling abdication of that leadership, and it threatened to send a dangerously wrong message,” Bloomberg wrote alongside California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last year in The New York Times.
In a statement from Gutteres’ office, the secretary general said that Bloomberg would work to convince private businesses to reduce their emissions in order to reach the goals set by the 2015 agreement as part of his new position.
“The Secretary General and Michael Bloomberg share the perspective that the emissions gap needs to be closed soon to limit global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius,” the statement reads.
Bloomberg touted his new appointment in a tweet Monday, vowing to work with both the private sector and willing governments.
“Around the world, bottom-up solutions are leading the fight against climate change. As the new @UN Special Envoy for Climate Action, I’ll work with state and non-state actors to help implement policies that reduce emissions & build resilience,” he tweeted.
Around the world, bottom-up solutions are leading the fight against climate change. As the new @UN Special Envoy for Climate Action, I’ll work with state and non-state actors to help implement policies that reduce emissions & build resilience. https://t.co/sWeq7bzWDG pic.twitter.com/JAFEYUZxjw
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) March 5, 2018
Guterres is planning to hold a U.N. climate summit next year in an effort to strengthen international support for the Paris agreement