Before we dismiss the presidential candidacy of Michael Bloomberg as a rich man’s whim, it is worth taking note of an achievement that separates him both from the rat pack of fellow billionaires and from the front-running Democratic candidates. Bloomberg has long headed an international Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. In an era when prominent Republicans find it convenient to deny the reality of carbon-driven climate change, Bloomberg has been a leader in pushing businesses and financial institutions worldwide to recognize the risks that climate change poses and to disclose those risks to their shareholders. The consequences of this work are significant. Once risks are acknowledged, pressure mounts to address them.
Bloomberg effectively leads the charge within the international business community to do something now about climate change. His case is idealistic but realistically based within the culture of financial self-interest, the bottom line that drives business everywhere. The leading Democratic candidates would never deny the importance of climate change, but none of them ranks it high enough among their stump-speech priorities, and none of them has actually done anything about it. Bloomberg has. His candidacy deserves respect, especially from the environmental community.
James H. S. McGregor