UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently announced Atlanta as one of the winning cities of Bloomberg’s American Cities Climate Challenge, according to a press release.
The 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. Bloomberg praised Atlanta’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 percent of citywide emissions and are areas over which mayors have significant authority.
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 – Atlanta is accepted into a two-year acceleration program, will be provided powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat its near-term carbon reduction goals.
Atlanta was the first city in the Southeast to pass a building energy benchmarking and transparency ordinance, and as a winner of the Climate Challenge it will work with the Climate Challenge team to put even more ambitious plans into action and ensure that all climate change interventions promote the values of One Atlanta, an affordable, resilient, and equitable Atlanta for all residents.
Specifically, by 2020 the Climate Challenge will help Atlanta achieve the following:
- A sustainable and resilient building stock supported by clean energy upgrades and existing building code enforcement,
- Expand Atlanta's charging infrastructure for electric vehicles via the recently enacted EV Readiness Ordinance, which can serve as an example for cities around the country; and
- Complete Streets Ordinance to allow for coordination of traffic signals throughout the city and prioritization of sidewalks and last-mile connectivity throughout Atlanta, especially in under-served neighborhoods.