- Four more cities have been honored as winners of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, DC.
- The four join six other cities — Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, OR and San Jose, CA — in receiving up to $2.5 million each in cash and a spot in a two-year program to help accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change.
- "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," Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement. "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."
The selection of Pittsburgh could be seen as a significant moment for this challenge, as the city had been used by President Donald Trump as justification to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord. Already, the city has ambitious goals around sustainability and moving its economy beyond traditional drivers such as the steel industry, and will use the extra money from Bloomberg Philanthropies to create a green policy for its buildings, roll out a statewide clean energy financing program, scale renewable power through community solar programs, and expand bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
The other three honorees plan similar work around energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy. Boston hopes to use some of the money to advance its initiatives to encourage biking and improve street safety for all users, and DC is using the support to kick its Clean Energy DC plan into high gear. That plan includes developing a building energy performance standard by 2020, having net-zero carbon buildings in the city by 2050 and launching the DC Green Bank.
With 10 cities now announced, including many of the country’s largest in this cohort, it will be interesting to see who Bloomberg chooses next. Earlier this year, a report by global risk management company DNV GL found while larger cities attract more headlines, significant leadership and innovation on climate change and sustainability is happening in mid-size cities, which have yet to be recognized by Bloomberg Philanthopies.