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Bloomberg Philanthropies Launches Youth Action Fund to Activate Tens of Thousands of Young People in Driving Climate Solutions in 100 Cities Across the Globe

100 cities will receive funding and technical assistance to spur a groundswell of youth-driven climate activity

New York, New York – With 84 percent of youth around the world reporting that they are worried climate change threatens people and the planet, Bloomberg Philanthropies today launched the Youth Climate Action Fund which will provide technical assistance and funding for 100 mayors to activate tens of thousands of young people ages of 15 – 24 years to design, produce, and govern urgent climate solutions in their cities. The cities in the Fund span 38 countries across six continents, representing over 62 million residents.

Each city will receive $50,000 to distribute as microgrants to fund a groundswell of youth-led climate initiatives that meet local contexts and objectives. From mobilizing tree-planting or public education campaigns to launching recycling or waste reduction initiatives to participating in mitigation planning or preparedness programs, efforts stemming from the new Youth Climate Action Fund will advance critical community goals such as meeting decarbonization commitments or reducing consumption-based emissions. Cities that respond to the urgency of the moment and commit the initial $50,000 within six months will receive an additional $100,000 to support more youth-driven projects over the course of one year.

“Climate change is an all-hands-on-deck challenge, and it’s critical that young people – who have the most at stake – help lead the way,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and 108th mayor of New York City. “This new fund will help mayors mobilize and empower tomorrow’s leaders to take action today.”

The climate crisis poses an existential threat to communities, and mayors are the first and last mile of response: tackling emergencies and trialing interventions from the frontlines. Over the last decade, local governments have played a critical role in climate mitigation and adaptation – and this is only expected to grow in the coming decade. Many cities are reducing per capita emissions faster than their national governments.

However, with more than 60 percent of young people saying that government is not doing enough to avoid climate catastrophe or taking their concerns seriously enough, few city halls have the organizational capacity, capabilities, and confidence to unleash youth energy on solution-building. Kickstarted at the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Innovation Studio at COP28, as a part of the Local Climate Action Summit, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Youth Climate Action Fund will provide the cities with the tools, techniques, and supports to leverage innovation approaches that invite and foster robust youth collaboration in climate problem-solving and policymaking. The program will be delivered by United Cities and Local Governments in partnership with the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University. C40 Cities and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy will collaborate as learning partners.

“United Cities and Local Governments is thrilled to join Bloomberg Philanthropies in celebrating the cities around the world that are joining the Youth Climate Action Fund—and partnering with the organization on this work,” said Emilia Sáiz, Secretary General for United Cities and Local Governments. “Youth today are the guardians of our future, and in bringing them together with local governments through this groundbreaking initiative, we will see cities reach newfound progress in shaping more resilient and regenerative communities that can act on the climate emergency in entirely new ways.”

“In order for cities to catalyze ever broadening, ever more ambitious efforts, they’ll need to continue to shift away from traditional, top-down models to those that solicit ideas and crowd in energy from across the community, including and especially from young people who are so vested in solving the climate crisis,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Youth Climate Action Fund will provide a springboard for mayors worldwide to put these lessons to work and launch a tidal wave of youth-driven activity that takes local climate action to the next level.”

“The most successful climate action centers people,” said Antha Williams, who leads the Environment program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The Bloomberg Philanthropies Youth Climate Action Fund will help marshal a new era for cities by providing technical expertise and funds to deliver the hope, perspective, and talents of young people to help address the climate crisis head-on and build more sustainable cities for generations to come.”

Through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Youth Climate Action Fund, mayors will launch open calls in their cities for new and ambitious climate efforts led by young people. These ideas may include:

  • Youth-led awareness, education, research, and development initiatives, including: youth-led climate education programs; youth climate hackathons; youth-developed climate surveys and research; youth-informed clubs or curriculum; and youth-designed public art and awareness campaigns.
  • Youth-driven climate mitigation and adaptation projects, including: youth-led community gardening, tree planting, reforestation, and urban farming campaigns; youth-managed recycling and waste reduction programs; and youth-produced climate resilience workshops and disaster preparedness programs.
  • Co-governed youth climate action plans, including: partnerships between city leaders and youth groups to inform climate-related policy ideas, decisions, or actions or the formation of youth climate ambassadors or advisory boards.

The 100 cities selected to participate in the Youth Climate Action Fund include: Accra, Ghana; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Allerød, Denmark; Alor Gajah, Malaysia; Athens, Greece; Atlanta, Georgia; Avellaneda, Argentina; Banjul, The Gambia; Belmopan, Belize; Billund, Denmark; Bo, Sierra Leone; Boise, Idaho; Borongan, Philippines; Bristol, United Kingdom; Broward County, Florida; Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; Casablanca, Morocco; Cerro Navia, Chile; Chefchaouen, Morocco; Cincinnati, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Córdoba, Argentina; Cuenca, Ecuador; Curvelo, Brazil; Despeñaderos, Argentina; Dubuque, Iowa; Embu, Kenya; Esteban Echeverria, Argentina; Flint, Michigan; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Glasgow, United Kingdom; Guarulhos, Brazil; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Guelph, Canada; Haderslev, Denmark; Halifax, Canada; Hang Tuah Jaya, Malaysia; Hastings-on-Hudson, New York; Hobart, Australia; Hoboken, New Jersey; Hudson Valley, New York; Irbid, Jordan; Kampala, Uganda; Kerewan, The Gambia; Kitchener, Canada; Kitwe, Zambia; Kumasi, Ghana; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Lansing, Michigan; Long Beach, California; Luján de Cuyo, Argentina; Lusaka, Zambia; Madison, Wisconsin; Madugandí, Panamá; Maipú, Chile; Mansa, Zambia; Masaka City, Uganda; Melbourne, Australia; Mendoza, Argentina; Menjez, Lebanon; Mesa, Arizona; Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Mykolaiv, Ukraine; Nansana, Uganda; New Orleans, Louisiana; New Westminster, Canada; Newcastle, Australia; Norddjurs, Denmark; Nouakchott, Mauritania; Oakville, Canada; Oberlin, Ohio; Paterson, New Jersey; Pérez, Argentina; Pikine, Senegal; Puerto Barrios, Guatemala; Quelimane, Mozambique; Quillota, Chile; Recife, Brazil; Reykjavik, Iceland; Rosario, Argentina; San Francisco, Camotes, Cebu, Philippines; Santiago, Chile; Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana; Skopje, North Macedonia; Sobral, Brazil; Tandil, Argentina; The Blue Mountains, Canada; Tirana, Albania; Tolhuin, Argentina; Trujillo, Honduras; Turin, Italy; Turku, Finland; Vejen, Denmark; Walvis Bay, Namibia; West Palm Beach, Florida; West Sacramento, California; White Plains, New York; and Zanzibar, Tanzania.

“Joining forces with mayors through the Youth Climate Action Fund is an incredible opportunity for us, the world’s youth, to step up, make our voices heard, and scale our impact at the local level,” said Florencio Venté, Co-Director for Migration Youth and Children Platform of the United Nation’s Major Group for Children and Youth and Member of United Cities and Local Government Youth Caucus. “As a member of the United Cities and Local Government Youth Caucus, we have always raised the need to collaborate with cities to include youth in initiative design, implementation, and funding. I commend Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners for launching this new program—ensuring cities tap into the unbridled power of youth, a guarantee of tackling the climate crisis head on—paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future by changing how this work gets done in our communities.”

“I am thrilled that Freetown will join Bloomberg Philanthropies in their Youth Climate Action Fund, participating with mayors from around the world in harnessing the creativity, skills, and viewpoints of young people to lead the next generation of climate action in our community,” said Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone. “Youth are at the forefront of the climate movement, and this novel program will help ensure our city fosters engagement from young people in developing solutions that move our community’s climate ambitions forward.”

“Through the Youth Climate Action Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies empowers municipalities to engage our young people towards local climate action,” said Mayor John Giles of Mesa, Arizona. “Young people are mobilizing and leading as we work toward a more sustainable future, and mayors can do their part to champion and support their ideas. Mesa is pleased to have this opportunity to work closely with our next generation on our shared climate action goals.”

“The most effective climate interventions are those which our communities have the opportunity to influence,” said Councillor Susan Aitken of Glasgow, United Kingdom. “And as the climate and ecological emergency becomes increasingly relevant to everyday lives, citizens will become more engaged in shaping local and national decisions on their future – and the future of our planet. It’s essential then that our young people are climate-ready, and I am thrilled that Glasgow will participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Youth Climate Action Fund—empowering the next generation to have the role they deserve, and programs like this playing an ever more crucial role in cities’ work.”

“Fostering initiatives to combat climate change is essential for the sustainable development of our cities—and the world,” said Mayor João Campos of Recife, Brazil. “As the youngest Mayor among Brazil’s capitals, I am committed to climate justice, understanding that Recife belongs to both present and future generations and cannot leave anyone behind. Bloomberg Philanthropies is a significant partner for our city, and together with its Youth Climate Action Fund, we will leverage the potential of our youth, mobilizing them in a local action with global impact.”

“The shift is real—global conversations have been handed down to mayors whose role in effecting change is undeniable,” said Mayor Florence Namayanja of Masaka City, Uganda. “I’m grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for their work in helping mayors respond to climate challenges all over the world. Now, through the Youth Climate Action Fund—which we are honored to be a part of—this support will extend to enable us to empower our City’s youth to be co-designers and co-implementers of climate conservation and mitigation efforts.”

“Youth are 30 percent of our City, and 100 percent of our future,” said Mayor Erion Veliaj of Tirana, Albania. “Participating in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ new Youth Climate Action Fund will ensure we create the space and conditions to invite our young residents to lead innovative climate action that impacts the whole of our community—and that Tirana works to support their efforts and help see them through.”

“From bold public information campaigns to innovative mitigation initiatives, the work that will stem from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ new Youth Climate Action Fund is sure to ignite awareness and action in cities worldwide that advance critical climate goals,” said Mayor Aftab Pureval of Cincinnati, Ohio. “I am proud that Cincinnati has been selected to join this effort, and I am thrilled to welcome our City’s youth in bringing their ideas forward—and our city hall remains committed to being a partner in helping to see their efforts through.”

“Young people are a leading voice in the climate crisis, but too often, they are left out of local decision-making and solution-building,” said Mayor Nabila Rmili of Casablanca, Morocco. “Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Youth Climate Action Fund will enable Casablanca—alongside the participating cities from across the globe—to marshal young resident’s creativity and determination in driving climate policy and local initiatives as part of municipalities’ work, bringing a new model of working to city halls worldwide, for global benefit.”

“Kitchener is committed to working together with our youth to tackle some of our city’s and our planet’s biggest challenges so I am thrilled that Kitchener has been selected as one of the 100 cities from around the world to be part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Youth Climate Action Fund,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic of Kitchener, Canada. “This program will provide us with the resources and expertise needed to move our youth’s perspectives and ideas forward—whether through participatory policymaking efforts and budgeting or in designing new mitigations and solutions—encouraging and elevating youth-led actions by the generation that will be most impacted.”

“I am thrilled Lusaka will join Bloomberg Philanthropies in their Youth Climate Action Fund, alongside cities from around the world,” said Mayor Chilando Chitangala of Lusaka, Zambia. “Young residents have significant ability to drive tangible and impactful change for communities, and I look forward to working with and elevating the ideas of Lusaka’s youth to chart the course towards a more sustainable city – and planet – for us all.”

“I’m thrilled that Bloomberg Philanthropies is investing in cities like Allentown to help us empower youth to take action on climate change,” said Mayor Matt Tuerk of Allentown, Pennsylvania. “The Youth Climate Action Fund recognizes that young people can partner with local governments to build a more sustainable future, and that mayors play a key role in that work.”

“We’re proud to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies to mobilize youth in local climate action with the help of its Youth Climate Action Fund,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther of Columbus, Ohio. “Young people are our greatest hope in building a more sustainable future, and we all have a meaningful role to play in championing and supporting their ideas and efforts.”

About Bloomberg Philanthropies: 
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on creating lasting change in five key areas: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic consultancy that advises cities around the world. In 2023, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3 billion. For more information, please visit, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on InstagramLinkedInYouTubeThreadsFacebook, and X.

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