- Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Honolulu as the latest winner in its American Cities Climate Challenge, the 18th honoree of 20 total.
- Honolulu joins Chicago; Cincinnati; Columbus, OH; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; Saint Paul, MN; St. Louis; Atlanta; Boston; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Portland, OR; San Diego; San Jose, CA; Seattle; and Washington, DC as a winner.
- "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," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a statement. "This well-earned award will help us accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy lifestyle in Honolulu."
Honolulu has already made great strides toward fighting climate change, committing to 100% renewable fuel sources for its public and private ground transportation by 2045, and ordering preparations to begin to prevent sea level rise. As an island state, Hawaii leaders clearly feel the urgency of the situation around climate change, especially with the United Nations warning that the international community has just 12 years to take action.
In a series of tweets, Caldwell pledged to "pursue even more ambitious climate policies" and also to "improve low-carbon infrastructure." Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is behind the challenge, said in a statement that Honolulu’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and pollution from buildings and transportation will "steer the state — and our country — toward a greener future."
Through this program, we’ll have the resources to pursue even more ambitious climate policies - helping to boost our economy and improve the health of our residents. pic.twitter.com/UloXt3HlwC— Kirk Caldwell (@MayorKirkHNL) November 4, 2018
And it certainly is an ambitious plan, including opening the first 11 miles of rail transit in the city and creating emission-free mobility options along congested highways, among other initiatives. Hawaii may be separate from the continental United States, but is clearly aiming to be a national leader in the fight against climate change. "With Washington asleep at the wheel, cities across the country are driving America forward — and Honolulu is helping lead the way," Bloomberg said.