Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at United Nations headquarters today for Bloomberg's new role as United Nations special envoy for cities and climate change. At the photo op, the secretary general was effusive in his praise of Bloomberg, even crediting him for transforming New York City into a "carbon-free city" [emphasis added]:
Mayor Bloomberg is much better known for his strong stewardship on environment and climate change. He has made this great city of New York a carbon-free city. It has been his hallmark, and as President of the C40 Mayors Group for Climate Change, he has been making a great contribution to a global effort, together with the United Nations, to make this Planet Earth and our world environmentally sustainable. And I really appreciate it.
The secretary general went on to explain why Bloomberg had been chosen for the position:
That is why I have asked him, after his retirement from Mayor, to serve humanity, to work for humanity, working as Special Envoy of the United Nations for cities and climate change. I am sure that we will be able to benefit a lot from his experience, his global visibility and global leadership and I really count on your leadership. We need such dedicated and visionary leadership when we really try hard to address the climate change phenomenon.
Ban Ki-moon closed his remarks by expressing his desire, with Bloomberg's help, to bring about a "global, legal climate change agreement by 2015, next year."