Bloomberg tells UN climate talks: You can count on the US

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks during a news conference at the COP25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. Thunberg is in Madrid where a global U.N.-sponsored climate change conference is taking place. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas)

MADRID – New York billionaire and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg led a high-powered charge against President Donald Trump's climate policies Tuesday, assuring activists, scientists and politicians from around the world that Americans are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions “even with a climate change denier in the White House."

Bloomberg, who launched his 2020 campaign less than three weeks ago, spoke during a trip to the U.N. global climate conference in Madrid, even as the official U.S. delegation at a booth nearby kept a low profile.

Together with former Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Al Gore, Bloomberg constituted a sort of shadow delegation at a time when Trump is moving to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

As other Democratic candidates have done, Bloomberg vowed to immediately rejoin the pact if elected president.

“The first thing you do, Day One, is you say we're going back in,” he said. “That's a no-brainer.”

The former New York mayor has helped support and fund a private push to get U.S. states, cities and businesses to abide by the terms of the Paris accord.

He touted a report that said non-federal actors representing more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy are on course to cut the nation's emissions 37% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels. If the next administration joins in, that figure could rise to 49%, bringing the U.S. roughly in line with the Paris treaty, according to the report.

“Americans are willing to continue to work, even with a climate change denier in the White House,” the 77-year-old businessman told a packed room.