Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced Indianapolis as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million-dollar program that will accelerate 20 ambitious cities’ efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents. Through the Climate Challenge – which is part of Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies – Indianapolis is accepted into a two-year acceleration program and will be provided powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat the city’s near-term carbon reduction goals.
Bloomberg Philanthropies selected Indianapolis as a winning city because of its innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions with specific projects aimed at reforming its respective transit and buildings sectors, areas which are typically responsible for 80 percent total of all citywide emissions and over which mayors have significant authority. Bloomberg Philanthropies also recognizes Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and the city’s Office of Sustainability for their commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer and healthier environment and economy for their residents.
“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 Mike Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action. “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.”
“Advancing the efficiency and connectivity of our community will drive the continued success of our neighborhoods and strengthen our local economy. When we invest in the sustainability of Indianapolis, we are not only thinking about our impact on the environment, we are supporting the well-being of our residents and enhancing the vibrancy of our city,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said. “Thanks to the support of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, we will continue to position Indianapolis as a leader in sustainability and innovation, now and for the future.”
“The Paris climate agreement is a promise we made to our children—and we’re going to keep it,” said Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “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.”
Indianapolis plans to use this support to implement several of the city’s climate goals around emissions reduction and energy consumption, which have been identified by the public during this year’s Thrive Indianapolis planning process. Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with the city to achieve the following actions by 2020:
Accelerate energy efficiency in large buildings with the city of Indianapolis leading the way; provide new programs to incentivize public transportation and expand pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure as a part of a transit-oriented development strategy; and pilot the city’s first energy resource center to make available information about energy efficiency incentives and rebates; public health and safety resources; and emergency preparedness and resilience toolkits.
As Climate Challenge winners, the 20 selected cities will be accepted into a two-year acceleration program with powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support, led by experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Delivery Associates and others, to help them meet – or beat – their near-term carbon reduction goals, from creating high-impact policies to putting them into action. These resources include 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 maximize community buy-in. Building on the America’s Pledge initiative, which aims to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement, the Climate Challenge underscores Bloomberg’s dedication to action as this investment will translate city commitments into tangible climate achievements. Bloomberg will announce the remaining winners of the Climate Challenge on a rolling basis throughout the fall, highlighting the ongoing, ambitious, and impactful actions cities are taking every day to address the growing threat of climate change.