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Seattle receives climate challenge funding

Seattle will be accepted into a two-year acceleration programme and receive access to cutting-edge support

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Seattle will receive technical assistance and support to help improve energy efficiency
Seattle will receive technical assistance and support to help improve energy efficiency

Seattle has been named as the inaugural winner of Bloomberg’s American Cities Climate Challenge.

 

The challenge is part of Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200m in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies.

 

As part of the award, Seattle will be accepted into a two-year acceleration programme and will receive new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat its near-term carbon reduction goals.

 

Seattle will receive robust technical assistance and support package valued at more than $2.5m per city to help improve the energy efficiency of citywide buildings and reduce emissions from the transit sector.

 

Protecting communities

 

“Seattle has suffered from both increasingly destructive wildfires and extreme rainstorms. Taking climate action isn’t just about investing in the future - it’s about protecting our communities right now,” said Jenny Durkan, Seattle mayor.

 

“In Seattle, we’re excited to be part of the solution, pioneering innovative policies that will both reduce our carbon footprint and benefit our city. The support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and the American Cities Climate Challenge will give us critical momentum in achieving our goals.”

 

Bloomberg Philanthropies said it will work with Seattle to achieve the following actions by 2020:

  • Expand financing and incentives for building efficiency including the 2030 building pilot that will create the city’s most sustainable buildings
  • Make Seattle a model for the creation of green jobs through an innovative pilot with Seattle colleges
  • Provide new programmes to incentivise public transportation, bikes, and walking over single occupancy vehicles
  • Evaluate and advance implementation of strategies based on Seattle Department of Transportation’s congestion pricing study.

Bloomberg praised Seattle’s innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce city-wide emissions with specific projects aimed at reforming local building and emissions from the city’s transit and buildings sectors, which typically total 90 per cent of citywide emissions and are areas over which mayors have significant authority.

“Cities are helping to keep America moving forward on climate change despite the lack of leadership from Washington"

Seattle will receive a philanthropy-funded team member to facilitate the development and passage of high impact policies, new training for senior leadership to assist with implementation of their proposed climate plans, and citizen engagement support to maximise community buy-in. These tools will help ensure that Seattle has the staff and resources necessary to turn climate action plans into reality.

 

“Cities are helping to keep America moving forward on climate change despite the lack of leadership from Washington, and this challenge was designed to help innovative mayors reach their goals,” said Michael Bloomberg, special envoy for climate action at the United Nations and former three-term mayor of New York City.

 

“We were looking for cities with ambitious and realistic plans to cut emissions in ways that improve people’s lives, and mayors committed to getting the job done. Each of these winning cities brings those ingredients to the table – and we’re looking forward to working with them and seeing what they can accomplish.”

 

Along with Seattle, Atlanta, Georgia, was also named as one of the 20 cities to be awarded under Bloomberg’s Climate Challenge.

 

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