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US climate challenge winners announced

Cities accepted into a two-year acceleration programme that will provide them with new resources and access to support

San Jose (above), Portland, San Diego and Los Angeles join winning line-up
San Jose (above), Portland, San Diego and Los Angeles join winning line-up

Four further cities have been named in the next round of winning cities for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge.


Californian cities Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose as well as Portland, Oregon, join Seattle and Atlanta as six of 20 cities in total to be awarded with resources and technical support to help achieve their climate goals.


Sustainable futures for residents


The cities climate challenge is a $70m programme that aims to accelerate 20 cities’ efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents. Through the challenge, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, and San Jose will be accepted into a two-year acceleration programme that will provide cities with new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat their near-term carbon reduction goals.


“The response to our climate challenge was overwhelming,” said Michael Bloomberg, UN secretary-general’s special envoy for climate action and former New York City mayor.


“Cities all across the country put forward thoughtful and innovative proposals. Selecting the ones with the most ambitious goals – and the most realistic plans for reaching them – was not easy.”


He continued: “But Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and Portland all stood out, and we’re glad to include them in the group of winners. With Washington asleep at the wheel, cities need to step up in the fight against climate change – and these cities are leading the way. Congratulations to them all.”


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. These are two areas traditionally responsible for 80 per cent total of all citywide emissions and over which mayors have significant authority.

"The Paris climate agreement is a promise we made to our children—and we’re going to keep it”

Bloomberg recognised Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, Portland mayor Ted Wheeler, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, and San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo for their commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment and economy for their residents.


“The Paris climate agreement is a promise we made to our children—and we’re going to keep it,” added Rhea Suh, president, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).


“The American Cities Climate Challenge gives cities the tools they need to lead the way. With cities generating the majority of the fossil fuel pollution driving climate change, and bearing the brunt of its impacts, fighting climate change begins in city hall. These mayors are committed to delivering a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow for future generations.”


As climate challenge winners the cities will receive resources including 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 maximise community buy-in. The four winners will work with NRDC and others to implement their plans.


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.


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