Earth Day 2018: Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5M to Paris Climate agreement

Former New York City mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg said Sunday he will write a $4.5 million check to cover the cost of the U.S.' financial commitment to the 2015 Paris Climate agreement.

"Our foundation will uphold our promise to cover any cuts to UN climate funding by the federal government - and the American people will uphold our end of the Paris Agreement, with or without Washington," Bloomberg said in a statement.

More than 100 countries have pledged their support for the climate pact, which went into effect in November 2016 and aims to keep the global temperature from rising by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit since the beginning of the industrial age. The Earth has warmed approximately 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the Industrial Revolution, which many scientists say is a result of the "greenhouse effect" -- which humans contribute to by burning fossil fuels: oil, coal and natural gas.

President Trump - a vocal critic of the pact - officially announced last August that the U.S. would pull out of the agreement as soon as the country is eligible to do so, which is three years after it went into effect. The year-long withdrawal process would mean the earliest the U.S. could exit the pact is Nov. 4, 2020, according to The Associated Press - one day after the next presidential election.

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