Michael Bloomberg

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Source: CNN) 

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that his philanthropic foundation will fund a conference at Washington University in St. Louis that will focus on mitigating the effects of climate change.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Bloomberg made the announcement Thursday on the eve of delivering the commencement address at the private institution. Bloomberg, a billionaire, has spent millions of dollars on climate issues.

He says universities are a "force of innovation" and that forms of renewable energy "have to be the future" of electricity generation. The conference is planned for early 2020.

Bloomberg made the announcement near the global headquarters of Peabody, the world's largest privately owned coal company. His philanthropy and the university also will work with regional governments on climate efforts.

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