American Cities Climate Challenge
Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded Columbus as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million dollar program that will accelerate 20 ambitious cities’ efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents. Through the Climate Challenge – which is part of Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies – Columbus is accepted into a two-year acceleration program and will be provided powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat the city’s near-term carbon reduction goals.
Bloomberg Philanthropies selected Columbus as a winning city because of their innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions with specific projects aimed at reforming their respective transit and buildings sectors, areas which are typically responsible for 80% total of all citywide emissions and over which mayors have significant authority. Bloomberg Philanthropies also recognizes Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther for his commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer and healthier environment and economy for their residents.
Columbus plans to use this support for a number of new and existing initiatives, and Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with the city to achieve the following actions by 2020:
- Workforce development: implement a workforce development program to train community energy advocates and deploy in tandem with Community Energy Savers.
- Energy audits: complete 30,000 home energy audits in the residential sector with a focus on neighborhoods with the highest rates of energy burden.
- Clean energy financing: accelerate $15 million in new clean energy financing through commercial and residential property assessed clean energy financing (PACE).
- Benchmarking: pass a commercial and multifamily energy and water benchmarking ordinance for large buildings.
- New mobility options: create a framework for implementation of a high-capacity transit corridor(s) and encourage the use of alternative mobility options by adding 3,000 units of bikeshare, e-scooters, and e-bikes.
- Incentives for low-carbon mobility: provide incentives and behavior nudging for employers to offer new mobility benefits for employees.
- Parking management: adopt and implement a strategic parking plan with the goal of reinvesting $250,000 of annual revenue into alternative mobility.
- Increase public transit ridership: Expand the high-frequency public transit network to achieve a 5% increase in ridership.