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Mike Bloomberg Elected as Chair of C40 Climate Leadership Group

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Toronto Mayor David Miller today announced that the C40 Steering Committee has elected Mayor Bloomberg to serve as chair of the C40 Climate Leadership Group, an association of major cities around the world committed to reducing carbon emissions and slowing climate change. Mayor Bloomberg will succeed Mayor Miller as C40 Chair in November. The C40, launched in 2005, provides leadership to communities worldwide to help them accelerate the reductions of carbon emissions. The Chair, along with the eight-member Steering Committee of other C40 mayors, guides the work of C40 by planning and measuring the results of local initiatives that reduce emissions from energy, waste, water supply and transport and increase cities’ resilience to climate change. The announcement took place at the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy, which helps clean technology and renewable energy companies in New York City grow.

“No one has a monopoly on good ideas, and the C40 cities, by working with one another on innovative carbon reduction strategies, have an opportunity to show the world what is possible,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Mayor Miller has led the C40 so capably over the last two years. I’d like to thank all the members of the C40 steering committee for giving me this opportunity, I think it says a lot about the kind of changes we’ve been able to effect here in New York City. I’d also like to thank President Bill Clinton, Ken Livingstone, and all the other partners who have contributed so much to C40’s success thus far.”

C40 member cities have pioneered new innovations to reduce carbon emissions including deep water cooling in Toronto, bus rapid transit in Jakarta and Bogotá, car-free days in Seoul, and innovative solid waste policies in Dhaka. PlaNYC, New York City’s long-term plan for a greener, greater New York, was launched on Earth Day 2007 and has already resulted in a nine percent reduction in local emissions over 2005 levels while improving New Yorkers’ quality of life and infrastructure. By planting trees, improving transit service, and conserving energy, New York City is on track to meet its goal of a 30 percent reduction in citywide greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030.

To meet this ambitious goal, the City has launched programs that attack the problem from all sides. For example the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, four landmark pieces of legislation enacted in 2009, will require ongoing energy efficiency in large buildings and result in a 4.75 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions while supporting 17,800 jobs. This program has created a market for many of the businesses housed in the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy which promotes alternative energy and clean technology development while creating new, local jobs in the green economy.

“To date, members of the C40 have shown great progress in meeting our individual climate protection goals, yet there remains great potential to refine and coordinate local initiatives so that we focus our efforts on the most impactful, cost-effective measures available,” said Mayor Miller. “As Chair, I know that Mayor Bloomberg will work closely with his fellow mayors to realize this leadership potential and ensure that cities have a voice in the international conversation on climate protection.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will remain honorary Deputy Chair and the C40 Secretariat will continue to be based in London.

“I am delighted my good friend Mayor Bloomberg is taking charge of this significant group,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson. “Noble aspirations for the environment are of no use unless accompanied by tangible, practical measures. Mayor Bloomberg in everything he does, combines ambitious goals with effective, determined execution.”

According to the World Bank, the C40 cities and their metropolitan areas are home to 393 million people and $8 trillion in economic activity at purchasing power parity, and are responsible for over 2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. While C40 mayors generally govern only a portion of their metro area, their leadership can often shape a region’s overall approach to climate change.

“Jakarta has greatly benefited from Mayor Miller’s C40 chairmanship in pioneering Climate initiatives such as the Connecting Delta Cities for Adaptation and Carbon Finance Capacity Building for Mitigation,” said Fauzie Bowo, Governor of Jakarta. “Though we will continue to expand in these areas, we now also look forward to continued growth in working with Mayor Bloomberg and learning from New York City as well as from the other big cities in such areas as energy efficiency and public transportation towards our shared reduction target of 30% greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.”

“The environment is a high priority to our city and we are convinced that solutions to this common challenge are best reached through cooperation with other important cities of the world,” said Mayor Kassab of São Paulo. “We trust Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership will help the already successful C40 initiative to move even further in the implementation of public policies aiming at the well being of our peoples and of future generations.”

“I extend my warmest congratulations to Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his appointment to the role of Chair of the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group,” said Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, Clover Moore MP. “It was at the invitation of Mayor Bloomberg, along with London’s former mayor, Ken Livingstone, that Sydney joined the C40 group in 2007. Mayor Bloomberg has been a leader on tackling global warming and an inspiration on climate change adaptation in cities. I hope to continue to strengthen Sydney’s relationship with New York City, as with all the other C40 members to secure our cities’ future.”

The C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group is comprised of the following cities: Addis Ababa, Athens, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Caracas, Chicago, Delhi, Dhaka, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Houston, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Karachi, Lagos, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto, Tokyo, and Warsaw. The C40 also has 19 affiliate cities selected because of their aggressive or innovative climate policies: Amsterdam, Austin, Barcelona, Basel, Changwon, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Heidelberg, Ho Chi Minh City, Milan, New Orleans, Portland, Rotterdam, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Seattle, Stockholm, and Yokohama. The Clinton Climate Initiative is the implementing partner of C40, which also has initiatives with Arup and the World Bank Institute.

About the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy

The New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy is an incubator for clean technology and renewable energy start-up companies that are helping to transition New York City to a low-carbon future. It is funded by a four-year, $1.5 million grant from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) to the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly). It is housed within the 160 Varick Street Business Incubator, a collaboration between NYCEDC, NYU-Poly, and Trinity Real Estate. 160 Varick was the first City-sponsored incubator launched as part of the City’s efforts to promote business innovation through entrepreneurial activity.

“The New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy shows how local action on climate change can spur private innovation and help cities become a model for environmental sustainability and economic recovery,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

“By joining with Mayor Bloomberg, NYSERDA and Trinity Real Estate, we have opened a new path for young scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, a path that energetically supports invention, innovation and entrepreneurship in the clean-tech sector,” said NYU-Poly President Jerry M. Hultin. “The result is real world solutions that are already creating a greener New York City and providing the new jobs and new companies so desperately needed across this country.”

The Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy provides fully functional, affordable office spaces with access to conference rooms, high-speed internet, streamlined access to incentives and programs for startups and company retention, access to university research, interns and labs and financial modeling and business coaching. All tenants have a focus on alternative energy and clean technology, or a product or service offering that has a clear linkage to a more sustainable urban environment.