by Jessie Capper
Although many know Michael Bloomberg as the past Mayor of New York City, holding the position for three consecutive terms from 2001-2004, his company Bloomberg Philanthropies demonstrates that he is much more than an active politician in the U.S. government. Bloomberg Philanthropies primary mission is to help the largest number of people live the best, and healthiest lives possible. Through harnessing his entrepreneurial spirit, discovering viable solutions, using data to assess financial reasonability, advocacy, and partnerships with other organizations (both private and public), Bloomberg Philanthropies work to address a multitude of issues facing our world—starting within cities (Bloomberg Philanthropies). Most interesting is Bloomberg Philanthropies’ most recent partnership with the Heising-Simons family to begin a Clean Energy Initiative, supporting city initiatives to develop a cleaner, more sustainable energy system within local power grids (Green Tech Media). Due to the out-of-date, harmful practices of our current cities, I see this partnership as a promising start towards achieving Bloomberg Philanthropies’ goal, and making clean energy the “norm.”
Unfortunately, a majority of cities’ power is dependent on the respective local power plants. These power plants account for approximately thirty-eight percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, alternative energy resources such as solar, wind, and LED, are proving to be more cost-efficient and sustainable substitutes for our current malpractices. The Clean Energy Initiative will encourage cities to comply by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, thereby adjusting cities’ current models for attaining power to a set of guidelines that reduce our carbon pollution. Our world today is abuzz is with research, promotion, and development of technologies that can help achieve the EPA’s goal of increasing renewable energy production three times by 2025. Personally, one big area of concern, however, is the dependability of these technologies and alternative energy sources. Although it is exciting to see increasing support and dependence on this new sector, I believe we must consider their respective reliability in comparison to our current power plants. With their work on previous projects, however, I have faith Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Heising-Simons family will address this concern while assisting city and state officials in developing the most environmentally friendly power strategies.
Bloomberg Philanthropies (http://www.bloomberg.org/about/our-approach/)