Press & Media

Mike Bloomberg Names Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, DC as Winners in Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

Four cities are among 20 total that will be awarded resources and technical support to help them achieve their ambitious climate goals

PITTSBURGH, PA – Today, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto in West End Overlook Park to announce Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington D.C. as the next round of winning cities for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. These four cities join six other cities – Atlanta, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Jose and Seattle – as the first half of the total twenty cities that will be named winners of the Climate Challenge. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million-dollar program that will accelerate these 20 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 – Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington D.C. are 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.

Bloomberg highlighted the cities’ innovative and ambitious climate action plans for the Challenge, all aimed to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions with specific projects to reform their respective transit and buildings sectors – two areas traditionally responsible for 80% total of all citywide emissions and over which mayors have significant authority. Bloomberg recognized Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for their commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment and economy for their residents.

“When Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the Climate Challenge, cities all across the country, with both Republican and Democratic mayors, put forward thoughtful and innovative proposals,” said Bloomberg. “Selecting the ones with the boldest goals — and the most realistic plans for reaching them — was not easy. But Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, and D.C. all stood out, and we’re glad to include them in the group of winners. With our federal government asleep at the wheel, cities are more important than ever in the fight against climate change — and these cities are stepping up to the challenge. Congratulations to them all.”

Standing with Mayor Peduto, who plays a key role in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ upcoming National Geographic documentary Paris to Pittsburgh, Mike also announced that mayors in select U.S. cities will join the conversation on local climate action by hosting screenings of the film on December 3rd and convening community discussions on climate change. The screenings, which will be held in Charleston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, and Pittsburgh, will emphasize the need for the bottom-up climate action strategies being taken by winners of the Climate Challenge.

“Pittsburgh is a city built on innovation. We’re so proud that we’ve done our part to uphold the Paris Agreement, and we’re ready to do even more.” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “With the American Cities Climate Challenge, we can expand our clean energy program not just in Pittsburgh, but statewide, and we’re ready to get to work.”

Winners of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge will be provided robust technical assistance and a support package valued at up to $2.5 million per city. 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.

Pittsburgh plans to use support from the Climate Challenge to create and implement a benchmarking policy for buildings. Additionally, Pittsburgh will work with Bloomberg partners to develop and roll out a statewide clean energy financing program, scale renewable power through community solar programs, and expand bike and pedestrian infrastructure throughout the city.

Philadelphia plans to scale up energy efficiency projects across homes and the city’s largest commercial buildings through policies, programs, job training and other resources, as well as dramatically increase the generation and use of renewable energy by leading and supporting institutional clean energy procurement programs. In working with Bloomberg partners, Philadelphia will also work increase trips by bicycle, walking, and transit by 5 percent by 2025 or sooner through the implementation of Connect: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan and accelerate transition of 6,000 municipal vehicles to electric, and work with SEPTA to electrify its fleet.

Boston plans to support further deployment of the Go Boston 2030 bike network and neighborhood slow streets traffic-calming program to create safe and stress-free walking and biking in the areas that need them most; introduce additional programs to reduce single-occupancy car use and support electric vehicle adoption to make low-carbon transportation the mode of choice for residents and commuters alike; provide Boston’s commercial and institutional buildings access to innovative project finance programs to improve their energy performance; help large buildings to benefit from existing energy performance incentives and cutting-edge technologies; and build workforce development programs and an energy resource center with an emphasis on serving low-income communities.

Washington D.C. plans to use this support to jumpstart implementation of its Clean Energy DC plan –  the city’s roadmap to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2032 – which was released in August. Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with the city to achieve by 2020: the development and launch of a building energy performance standard for large buildings to support the city’s goal of net-zero carbon buildings by 2050; launch of the DC Green Bank, aligning its new financing programs with existing strategies to incentivize energy efficiency and renewable energy and accelerate building performance improvements; and encouragement of residents and commuters to use alternative transportation by improving service, adding new mobility options, and expanding bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

The 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 continue to announce the winners of the Climate Challenge on a rolling basis this year, highlighting the ongoing, ambitious, and impactful actions cities are taking every day to address the growing threat of climate change.

###

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.