Stockholm Biochar Project, a Mayors Challenge Winner, Opens its First Plant

Stockholm, Sweden celebrated the opening of an innovative new biochar facility that will work wonders in the city’s effort to fight climate change. A first-of-its-kind project, the facility turns plant waste from parks and homes – everything from grass clippings to trees and limbs – into carbon-capturing charcoal that residents can then use in their window boxes and gardens to promote plant growth. Biochar is a powerful soil conditioner, it decreases carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere and, through its production, it will even create enough energy to provide heat and hot water for more than 80 apartments in the city.

Autonomous Vehicles: Putting Cities in the Driver’s Seat

By James Anderson, Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute just concluded two inspiring days of discussion on cities and the transition to autonomous vehicles – a reality that’s no longer in the distant future. This convening, which brought together city officials with leading voices from the auto industry, tech and innovation sectors, social justice organizations and academia, was the first major step of the Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles. Through this year-long effort, we’ll work with 10 leading cities to help accelerate and strengthen their efforts to prepare for the challenges ahead, while also sharing what we learn with a broader community of cities across the globe. Our work is just starting, but I came away from our conversations with five key insights.

Follow the Data Podcast Episode 8: Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

One of the largest single contributions ever made for such work, the Vibrant Oceans Initiative focuses on revitalizing the fish population by simultaneously tackling both industrial and local fishing practices.

In this episode, we’ll go in depth on the ways the Vibrant Oceans Initiative is working to encourage responsible fishing globally to protect this vital source of food and income for generations to come.

Leading the conversation is Andrew Sharpless, the Chief Executive Officer of our partner organization Oceana, and Melissa Wright from the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment team.

5 Things You Should Know About Tobacco Taxes

Tobacco use is the leading cause of non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Every year, about six million people worldwide die from tobacco use, with the vast majority of deaths in low- and middle-income countries. We also know that tobacco use costs the world’s economies over US $1.4 trillion annually in healthcare expenditures and lost productivity.

But did you know that significant increases in tobacco taxes can curb these losses? A World Health Organization study estimates that a 50% tax increase in all countries would prevent about 11 million premature deaths caused by tobacco use.

What Governments Can Do To Address Cancer

By Dr. Kelly Henning, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Health team

Message from Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Health Program on World Cancer Day

While much work remains to find a cure for cancer – the good news is we know that many forms of cancer are preventable. On World Cancer Day, a moment when the global community comes together to reflect on those lost to cancer, as well as the advances we need to make to find a cure,  it’s important to remember that there are actions that governments and individuals can take to prevent cancer. In fact, governments hold many levers that can actually address this leading killer.

Witnessing how a death gets registered in Zambia

By Adrienne Pizatella, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Health team

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative partners with 19 countries to support the improvement of public health data. One of the biggest challenges is a lack of accurate data around deaths, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that 65% of all deaths worldwide go unrecorded.  Death registration is so important for countries because having accurate and up-to-date cause of death data allows governments, aid organizations, and public health leaders to set well-informed public health priorities for their country aiming to prevent more deaths and improve the health of the population.

Follow the Data Podcast Episode 7: How tobacco control protects billions of people – Part 1

For the last 10 years, Bloomberg Philanthropies has been a major supporter of tobacco control, protecting more than 3.5 billion people in low- and middle-income countries through strong policies. Knowing that we can and must do more, our founder Mike Bloomberg announced a new round of funding this year that raises our total giving to $1 billion dollars and expands our work for another 6 years.

But what does it take to protect everyone? And why did we take on this monumental task?

In part one of this two-part series, we go in depth on tobacco control and how Bloomberg Philanthropies is working with partners around the world to protect billions of people from the harmful effects of tobacco.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2016 Playlist

2016 was a year of pushing boundaries as we made announcements and reached new milestones around protecting public health, fighting climate change, revitalizing cities through art, increasing college access, supporting innovation in cities, and driving women’s economic development.

At the end of each year, we share a retrospective on our blog. In 2015, we shared key moments through Instagram photos we posted throughout the year. This year, we put together a playlist featuring tunes that nod to some of the highlights from this past year. And we welcome your suggestions. Tweet us your recommendations with the hashtag #BPTunes and listen along to our playlist on Spotify.

Follow the Data Podcast Episode 6: Increasing the value of women in Congo

In this episode of Follow the Data, you will meet Abdoulaye Toure, the Country Director for Women for Women International who – as the organization’s second male country director in Congo – shares some personal stories of impact he’s seen in the role of women in Congo, and why he’s committed his life to demonstrating the value of women in a country where they have struggled to have a voice.

Photo Tour of the 2016 C40 Award Winners

By Kelly Shultz, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Environment Team

Last week the Bloomberg Philanthropies Environment Team joined global C40 mayors, policy experts, city officials and business leaders in Mexico City for the sixth C40 Mayors Summit. Together we explored how to accelerate climate action in 90 of the world’s greatest and largest cities—from Austin to Rio de Janeiro to Oslo to Wuhan—and celebrated the boldest urban climate projects from 2016 at the C40 Awards Ceremony.