Published On: Fri, Jan 23rd, 2015

Bloomberg Foundation Donates $48 Million to Clean Energy Initiative

Michael Bloomberg clean energy

A foundation led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an effort to provide $48 million to help U.S. states and localities speed up their transition to cleaner energy sources, The Hill said.

The Clean Energy Initiative aims to help jurisdictions meet an Obama administration target of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels over the next 15 years. It will be co-funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the family of California climate activists Mark Heising and Elizabeth Simons, according to The New York Times.

If the initiative is implemented, the Obama administration’s proposed power plant rules will put more responsibility on states to mitigate carbon emissions. If the regulations survive legal challenges from coal companies and other industry actors, they could prompt a significant restructuring of the electricity sector, Greentech Media said.

“With the price of clean power falling, and the potential costs of inaction on climate change steadily rising, the work of modernizing America’s power grid is both more feasible and urgent than ever, ” said former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement. “These grants will help states meet new federal clean power requirements in ways that save money and lives.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the proposed power plant rules will produce climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in 2030, while avoiding 2, 700 to 6, 600 premature deaths, Greentech said.

California-based donors Mark Heising and Elizabeth Simons believe carbon pollution is among the world’s most pressing concerns. “New technologies ensure that the solutions to climate change can be cost-effective, ” said Heising, according to the report.

Rather than support state governments, the $48 million will go to a variety of groups informing states as they create their clean energy strategies. Grantees are expected to include national groups, such as Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council, as well as state and local organizations, Greentech said.

In addition to money, the initiative will provide technical guidance on grid optimization and opportunities to deploy renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, the report said.

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