Michael Bloomberg announces an effort to shut down coal in 25 countries.

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Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire and former mayor of New York City, intends to announce on Monday an effort to shut down coal in 25 countries.

The pledge comes as world leaders arrive in Glasgow for a United Nations climate change summit where persuading countries to phase out coal, the burning of which is a leading driver of climate change, will be a key issue. The ultimate goal: galvanizing leaders to cut greenhouse gas emissions enough to stave off the worst consequences of global warming.

Mr. Bloomberg, whose 2020 Democratic presidential bid focused heavily on climate change and who now serves as a special envoy for climate ambition to the United Nations, has worked to shutter coal plants in the United States since 2011, and two years ago devoted $500 million to the effort. It has been linked with hastening the retirement of about 280 coal plants in the United States.

The new effort is aimed at closing a quarter of the world’s 2,445 coal plants as well as stopping efforts underway to build 519 new coal plants by 2025.

“Coal is enemy No. 1 in the battle over climate change because it causes one-third of all carbon emissions,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement. He did not say how much money he intended to devote to the plan, but he spends about $150 million annually on efforts to shut down coal in the United States and Europe, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The United Nations secretary general has called to phase out coal power by 2030 in wealthy countries and by 2040 everywhere else.

The effort won’t be an easy one. At the Group of 20 summit in Rome on Sunday, leaders of the world’s wealthiest economies agreed to end financing for coal-fired power plants overseas by the end of this year, according to the final text of their communiqué.

But they stopped short of agreeing to stop using coal power in their own countries, with Australia, India, China and Russia pushing back hard against a target date.

“We are not engaged in those sort of mandates and bans,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia said in Rome. “That’s not the Australian government’s policy; it won’t be the Australian government’s policy.”

China, meanwhile, has plans to build 247 gigawatts of new coal power. That is nearly six times Germany’s entire coal power capacity.

Antonios Papaspiropoulos, a spokesman for the World Coal Association said in a statement that coal was a critical source of energy for hundreds of millions of people across the world.

“We believe it is important for those calling for any phaseout of coal use to appreciate that coal is part of the climate change solution through the phase-in of clean coal technologies,” he said.


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