Michael Bloomberg Names Columbus Winner in Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge
Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced
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.
“Cities are helping to keep America
moving forward on climate change despite the lack of leadership from
Washington, and this challenge was designed to help innovative mayors reach
their goals,” said Mike Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action. “We
were looking for cities with ambitious and realistic plans to cut emissions in
ways that improve people’s lives, and mayors committed to getting the job done.
Each of these winning cities brings those ingredients to the table - and we’re
looking forward to working with them and seeing what they can accomplish.”
“The wellbeing and prosperity of our
community is inextricably linked to solving the climate crisis. This presents a
great opportunity to our generation to innovate,” said Mayor Ginther. “Columbus
is no stranger to innovation. By being named a winning city by Bloomberg, we
will be able to boldly move forward with existing and new programs to cut city
emissions through sustainable construction and mobility initiatives.”
“The Paris climate agreement is a
promise we made to our children—and we’re going to keep it,” said Rhea Suh,
President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The American Cities
Climate Challenge gives cities the tools they need to lead the way. With cities
generating the majority of the fossil fuel pollution driving climate change,
and bearing the brunt of its impacts, fighting climate change begins in City
Hall. These mayors are committed to delivering a brighter, more hopeful
tomorrow for future generations.”
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.
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
As Climate Challenge winners, the 20
winning cities will be accepted into a two-year acceleration program with
powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support, led by experts at
the Natural Resources Defense Council, Delivery Associates and others, to help
them meet – or beat – their near-term carbon reduction goals, from creating
high-impact policies to putting them into action. These resources include a
philanthropy-funded team member to facilitate the development and passage of
high impact policies, training for senior leadership to assist with
implementation of their proposed climate plans, and citizen engagement support
to maximize community buy-in.
Building on the America’s Pledge
initiative, which aims to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement, the Climate
Challenge underscores Bloomberg’s dedication to action as this investment will
translate city commitments into tangible climate achievements. Bloomberg will
announce the remaining winners of the Climate Challenge on a rolling basis
throughout the fall, highlighting the ongoing, ambitious, and impactful actions
cities are taking every day to address the growing threat of climate change.
The City of Columbus is America’s
14th largest city, encompassing dozens of vibrant neighborhoods over 223 square
miles. The 860,000 residents are employed in a variety of sectors including
health care, finance, transportation and construction. Businesses in Columbus
are widely varied, with no one sector contributing more than 20 percent to the
economy, which makes the city particularly economically stable. The city has
more than 12,000 acres of parkland and 120 trails for hiking and biking.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480
cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer
lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key
areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation,
and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R.
Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal
giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more
information, please visit https://www.bloomberg.org/
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About the Bloomberg American Cities
Recognizing that cities account for
more than 70% of global carbon emissions, the Bloomberg American Cities Climate
Challenge was formed with an investment of $70 million to enhance the work
already being done by mayors across the U.S. and to support cities in the fight
against climate change. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge aims to
go beyond the theoretical and scale up high-impact urban climate solutions that
are already proven to succeed - specifically, from the buildings and
transportation sectors. World-class partners for the Bloomberg American Cities
Climate Challenge will be led by the Natural Resources Defense Council and
Delivery Associates. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is part of
Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200 million
in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies.