Apr 19, 2018
Michael Bloomberg on coal, capitalism and whether he’ll run against Trump
Michael Bloomberg: Environmentally friendly policies are good for the bottom line
Business mogul Michael Bloomberg says the U.S. government has done nothing for the environment and capitalism will eradicate the use of coal for power in the world’s biggest economy.
Bloomberg told BNN on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s vow to revive the country’s coal power industry “doesn’t matter” and that “he has nothing to say about” the matter.
“[Former U.S. President Barack] Obama passed one bill, it’s been tied up in the courts, it has never been implemented. The federal government really is irrelevant,” Bloomberg said. “It’s embarrassing and unfortunate that other countries may use what Donald Trump says to say, ‘Well, we’re not going to do it, because America’s not doing it’.”
Bloomberg said the private sector, whether it’s corporations or individuals, is where the environmental change is coming from.
“They want a cleaner world. Why? Because, it’s in their interest,” he said during a visit to Toronto for the BNN Bloomberg launch and an event with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.
“You look at this as an environmental thing as opposed to a climate change thing. Your kids are breathing bad air today; forget about what’s going to happen in 2050. Do you want to clean the air because of your kids? Sure you do. It’s an easier thing to convince people when it’s self-interest.”
Being environmentally friendly is also good for business because investors are increasingly aware of carbon footprints, according to Bloomberg.
“It turns out, for example, going to more efficient less polluting fuel, you reduce your costs and that’s why we’ve been able to close over half of all the coal-fired power plants in America in the last three or four years,” he said. “It’s because fracked natural gas or renewables is so much cheaper.”
“People say if you do what’s right for the environment, then it costs you more. It doesn’t. Doing what’s right for the environment sort of forces you, encourages you to do something that you really should be doing for your bottom line as well,” he added.
Bloomberg said that his company, Bloomberg L.P., generates 70 per cent of its own electricity with the goal to reach up to 100 per cent in a couple of years.
When asked if he would consider running for president in 2020 since he is such a staunch opponent of the current president, Bloomberg declined to fan the speculation.
“I’ve got my philanthropy, and my company, and two great kids, and two great grandkids,” he said. “If I could speak Spanish like a native and hit a golf ball like a professional that would round out my career very nicely, thank you.”