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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Michael Bloomberg speaks on stage during The Robin Hood Foundation's 2018 benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood)

When President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, he didn’t just damage the global environment. He damaged the country's reputation. Since World War II, the United States has pledged to be a global leader, using its wealth, power and influence to make decisions that impact people around the planet. World leaders saw the U.S. as an example and its president as “leader of the free world.” That is no longer the case. Instead, some are hoping, the acts of individual Americans could signal to the rest of the world that Trump doesn’t speak for all Americans.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg said that if the government of the second-largest polluting country won’t participate in this near-global agreement, then it’s up to individuals to step up. He put his money where his mouth is, pledging to donate $4.5 million of his own money to the operations of the UN Climate Change Secretariat in 2018, and will do so again next year if the U.S. continues to stand with climate deniers.

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