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U.S. Department of State and Bloomberg Philanthropies Launch Second Our Cities, Our Climate Exchange to Advance Local Climate Action

Global sustainability directors will meet with officials and organizations in three U.S. cities to accelerate the progress of world cities toward addressing climate change

Today, the U.S. Department of State and Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the start of the second annual Our Cities, Our Climate exchange, a 10-day program that brings together 17 urban sustainability directors from 16 countries committed to taking measurable climate action. The sustainability directors will attend collaborative sessions in San Francisco, Austin, and Washington, D.C. to highlight and advance city leadership on climate action.

While in these cities, the sustainability directors will hear about innovative climate solutions in U.S. cities, share best practices and challenges, and network with global climate leaders. In Austin, participants will attend SXSW Eco where they will hear from innovators and environmental leaders from a variety of sectors on the importance of driving environmental change and accelerating the transition to a sustainable future. Exchange participants will also have the opportunity to share more about the exchange with SXSW Eco attendees during the Bloomberg Philanthropies panel featuring U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Dr. Jonathan Pershing, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and Antha Williams, head of Bloomberg Philanthropies Environment program, who will facilitate a discussion with sustainability directors on solutions and progress from the exchange thus far.

Last year, the first Our Cites, Our Climate exchange demonstrated the power of city collaboration and commitment to climate action ahead of COP21, where cities were crucial voices in shaping and advocating for the Paris Agreement. This year, as the world moves towards implementing ambitious climate targets, the program aims to continue the momentum on climate action, further strengthen ties between international and U.S. cities, allow global cities to learn from cutting-edge U.S. climate change efforts, and encourage the advancement of innovative climate solutions in partnership with national governments.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry: “If we change the way we power our cities, then we will change the way we power our world and, in the process, we may well save it. The fact is that some of the most promising, innovative, effective climate solutions are coming directly from mayors around the world and around the United States.”

UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg: “Air pollution hurts cities business environments by making them less attractive places to live and work, so attacking climate change and promoting economic growth really do go hand-in-hand. Each city has its own unique culture and needs, but the nuts and bolts of what make a city run tend to be similar.  What works for one city usually holds valuable lessons for many others. The more we can help mayors and city officials innovate and collaborate, the more progress we can all make.”

The sustainability directors will arrive from: Adelaide, Australia; Cairo, Egypt; Cape Town, South Africa; Cartagena, Colombia; Chengdu, China; Delhi, India; Istanbul, Turkey; Karachi, Pakistan; Lima, Peru; Marrakesh, Morocco; Montreal, Canada; Nairobi, Kenya; Paris, France; Quezon City, Philippines; Santiago, Chile; Shanghai, China; and Warsaw, Poland.