Billionaire former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg has said he will write a $4.5m cheque to cover the US’s financial commitment to the Paris Climate agreement for 2018.
Donald Trump pulled the US out of the climate pact last year, saying it was a “terrible deal” which would “undermine” the economy and put the US at a “permanent disadvantage”.
The move made the US the only country in the world opposed to the climate change agreement which aims to cut carbon emissions in an effort to restrict global temperature rises to less than 2C by the end of this century.
In an interview with CBS, Mr Bloomberg said he hopes that by next year Mr Trump will have changed his mind.
Mr Bloomberg will continue to provide money for the pact if the United States does not rejoin the agreement, according to a news release from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charity he founded.
“Our foundation will uphold our promise to cover any cuts to UN climate funding by the federal government,” Mr Bloomberg said in the statement.
Mr Trump said in an ITV interview last year that if the terms of the Paris agreement changed, “there’s always a chance we’d get back. But it was a terrible deal for the US. It was unfair to the US,” he said.
Mr Trump has previously said he is a “believer in clean air and clean water”, but has also voiced support for “beautiful clean coal”, and said the polar icecaps were not melting and were at “a record level”.