Michael Bloomberg: The Company, the C40 and Climate Finance

Michael Bloomberg - Mayor of New York and Chair of the C40
Mayor Bloomberg, Chair C40

C40 São Paulo Summit

Is Michael Bloomberg really getting serious about sustainability and the climate?

Is the upcoming free and now completely full ESG 2011 USA event a huddle of the region’s best sustainability practitioners? We’ll be getting the scoop from Bloomberg CEO Daniel Doctoroff, and Thomas DiNapoli, Comptroller of the State of NY, the top official of the massive $150B New York Common Retirement Fund.

Talks leading up to the C40 (top 40 cities) conference just prior to Rio+20 are starting to raise the bar on fixing the problem of urban emissions (60-80% of the total).

Mayor Bloomberg is the Chair of the C40.

Here’s his welcome message to C40 Sao Paulo attendees:

Former London Mayor Nicky Gavron: “Every single financial centre is at sea level.”

“Over the past six years, C40 Summits have brought together mayors of the world’s largest cities to share information on their respective experiences in dealing with climate change. This is our fourth Summit, the first to be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere, and my first as Chair of the C40.

For the first time in history, cities are home to more than half of the world’s population, and together account for more than 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Summit in São Paulo will provide us with an excellent opportunity to explore and exchange new ideas and initiatives, and to discuss new partnerships among mayors and governors that can address climate change and promote sustainability. ”

The race is on.

London’s former mayor Nicky Gavron tipped everyone’s hand with a pointed comment about the geographical location of the world’s financial centers:

“Big cities need to raise the game because they’re so responsible for such a high proportion of greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions and they’re very vulnerable to [climate change],” Gavron told Environmental Finance. Around 60% of global GHGs come from cities. “Every single financial centre is at sea level.”

Simultaneously it seems, Bloomberg’s home page just created a new top level tab, “Sustainability”, featuring some of the excellent work of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Having recently investigated the ESG features of a BNEF equipped Bloomberg terminal, I can tell you: it rocks.

Mayor Bloomberg also passed legislation improving the buy local profile of his NYC Administration:

Buy Local, the Mayor Says

So screamed the headline from Matt Flegenheimer’s NY Times blog:

In New York’s latest attempt to promote the purchase of locally grown food, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed into law on Wednesday a bill urging city agencies to buy more often from the state’s farms and processing facilities.

Among the law’s provisions, the Mayor’s Office of Contracts Services will publish an annual report on its Web site outlining the amount and type of locally grown food each city agency has procured. The law also calls for vendors to provide the Department of Citywide Administration with information regarding the origin of their food…

Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director of GrowNYC, said connecting regional farmers to such a vast network of buyers could have a substantial impact.

“The city has an immense purchasing power,” he said. “From our perspective, it’s great.”

The mayor also signed a bill to exempt rooftop greenhouses from being counted toward buildings’ height and floor area measurements. The greenhouses will join structures like roof tanks, air-conditioning equipment and chimneys as apparatus that are not factored into buildings’ official totals, easing limitations on the construction of such structures.

In a statement, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, noted the progress of urban farming.

“Even in a city as highly developed as New York, urban farms are growing at an astounding rate,” Ms. Quinn said. “This legislation aligns itself with this trend, making it easier for New Yorkers to grow their own food.”

Mr. Bloomberg also signed three other measures, including one that will require the Department of Citywide Administration to maintain a searchable database of all city-owned and city-leased property. One goal, the mayor said, is to gather information regarding whether properties might be suitable for urban agriculture.”

I’m tempted to just say Alleluia. It’s about time.

Fund Balance will be hosting an after party with special guests E3 Bank, Watershed Capital and Leo Tilman to discuss E3’s new sustainable banking model. Interested parties please RSVP to Leland Lehrman, (518) 392-0952.