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:
• Deploy a workforce development program for energy efficiency auditors and increase the number of homes audited with a focus on the City neighborhoods with the highest rates of energy poverty.
• Accelerate existing and add new financing programs for energy efficiency and renewables for commercial buildings.
• Roll out a multimodal trip planning app to drive behavioral insights and engagement strategies to encourage mode share.
• Launch a communications campaign to increase ridership on newly expanded high-frequency transit lines.