Press & Media

Michael R. Bloomberg Names Honolulu as a Winner in Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

Hawaii’s capital added as eighteenth of 20 cities to be awarded resources and technical support to help achieve their ambitious climate goals

The Climate Challenge is part of the more than $200 million Bloomberg American Cities Initiative designed to help cities achieve critical near-term goals

HONOLULU, HI – Yesterday, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg joined Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to announce Honolulu as the next winning city in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge. Honolulu joins the previously announced winners – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, Saint Paul, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. – as the 18th of 20 winning cities of the Climate Challenge.

Launched in June, the American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million-dollar program that will accelerate efforts in 20 winning cities to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents. Through the Climate Challenge – which is part of Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative – Honolulu is accepted into a two-year acceleration program that will provide cities powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat their near-term carbon reduction goals.

Alongside Mayor Caldwell, Bloomberg highlighted Honolulu’s innovative and ambitious climate action plan for the Challenge, which is designed to reduce air pollution and citywide emissions specifically from the transportation and buildings sectors – two areas that are on average responsible for 80% total of all citywide emissions and over which mayors have significant authority. Bloomberg recognized Mayor Caldwell for his commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment and economy for their residents.

“With Washington asleep at the wheel, cities across the country are driving America forward – and Honolulu is helping lead the way,” said Bloomberg. “Their plan for a Carbon-Free Corridor will steer the state – and our country – toward a greener future. Congratulations to Honolulu on the award – and thank you to Mayor Caldwell for all of his great work.”

“Being selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of the top 20 cities in the United States committed to tackling climate change demonstrates that our island citizens are leading at a national level and our focus on climate resilience is inspiring others,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. “Every day more residents and businesses realize that fossil fuels are both a drag on our economy and directly responsible for bigger hurricanes and other dangerous climate impacts. This well-earned award will help us accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy lifestyle in Honolulu.”

Winners of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge will be provided robust technical assistance and a support package to help them achieve their goals. 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.

Cities will work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and partners to implement their specific climate plans. Honolulu’s plans include opening the first 11 miles of rail transit in Honolulu, creating an emission-free mobility option along one of the state’s most congested highway corridors; maximizing the number of residents and business who can locate walkable neighborhoods connected by carbon-free travel choices such a bikeshare, electric scooters, electric buses and rail; and analyzing the feasibility of a Go Zone for Waikiki that increases the use of zero-emission travel in Honolulu’s densest neighborhood and decreases the noise and pollution from fossil fuel transportation.

The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge builds on the America’s Pledge initiative, which aims to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement, and underscores Mike Bloomberg’s dedication to climate action investments that translate city commitments into tangible climate achievements. Bloomberg will announce the final winners of the Climate Challenge later this year, highlighting the ongoing, ambitious, and impactful actions cities are taking every day to address the growing threat of climate change.

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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 www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

About the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge
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.

Contact: Lee Cochran
lee@bloomberg.org