Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s mulling a presidential run in 2020, is taking his message about climate change to the big screen with a new documentary focused on the risks climate change poses to the economy.
Bloomberg plans to attend three premieres for the movie – one Monday night in New York, followed by another on Tuesday in Iowa and then London next week.
His visit to Iowa, a critically important early presidential voting state, will fuel speculation the Bloomberg is serious about pursuing a presidential run. Bloomberg has said he’ll make a decision by February.
The film, which will air on National Geographic starting on December 12, is called “Paris to Pittsburgh,” a title that plays on President Donald Trump’s argument for pulling out of the Paris climate accords last year.
“I was elected by the citizens of Pittsburgh,” Trump said at the time. “Not Paris.”
The documentary, which was made in cooperation with film production company Radical Media, features communities across the country grappling with the devastating impact of climate change, including rising sea levels that threaten future drinking water supply in south Florida, severe storms that have destroyed crops in Iowa and carbon emissions impacting health in California.
The film also strikes a hopeful tone, showing how Americans – in both conservative and liberal pockets of the country – are embracing green energy and the goals of the Paris climate agreement despite the US withdrawal. Examples include dairy and egg farmers in Iowa using solar power on their farms and Florida residents using their front lawns as gardens to reduce food transport emissions.
“I think the President has it wrong,” says Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a frequent Trump critic who lost his re-election bid last month. “This isn’t a zero-sum game where we either save the environment or grow the economy.”
Bloomberg’s personal charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies, has been funding efforts to fight climate change for years, including support packages for 20 cities with mayors who demonstrate a commitment to delivering on the goals of Paris accord.
The charity also donated $4.5 million to the United Nations to help fill a funding gap left when Trump withdrew from the Paris accord. This year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Bloomberg UN Special Envoy for Climate Action.
The billionaire, who returned to his media and financial services company after leaving office in New York, has floated running for President several times and has emerged as a Trump antagonist. He recently re-registered as a Democrat, and contributed over $110 million to wrest control of the House and Senate from Republicans.
Bloomberg’s political spending and his appearance in a national TV ad earlier this month, urging voters to support Democrats, raised his profile outside of New York, where he’s well known after serving three terms as mayor.