New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and former president Bill Clinton announced on Wednesday that they will merge their global climate groups, C40 and the Clinton Climate Initiative, into a single organization.
Bloomberg's organization is a coalition of international cities. Clinton's group is an arm of his eponymous philanthropic foundation.
The merger doubles the new organization's resources and infrastructure and virtually assures its position as the most prominent climate policy organization in the world.
Clinton and Bloomberg said the decision was driven by the belief that cities are one of the greatest drivers of climate change action.
As a result, the new C40 will:
- Expand the number of participating cities.
- Double the budget of participating cities.
- Restructure the organization so cities can share best practices and tackle issues collectively.
Both organizations were founded in the last decade and aim to cut carbon emissions in major cities through green building, public transportation and energy efficiency schemes.
The transition won't be easy.
Michael Barbaro of the New York Times explains:
The Clinton and Bloomberg groups have previously sought to work together, through a far less formal partnership, but the arrangement was plagued by problems, according to those involved. C40 was insufficiently financed and, despite the skilled advisers it put on the ground, the Clinton Climate Initiative did not promote the kind of global collaboration that C40 had expected.
The loosely coordinated system at times left city officials confused and employees of the groups working at cross purposes, these people said.
The hope: by combining forces, an organization like this can achieve meaningful progress in the vacuum left by failing international climate negotiations.