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Five US cities complete American Cities Climate Challenge

Albuquerque, Austin, Denver, Orlando and San Antonio have all been selected as the final five winners of Bloomberg’s America Cities Climate Challenge.

The $70 million programme is designed to catalyse efforts to tackle climate change in 25 US cities will help deliver on the America’s Pledge initiative to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement.

They will participate in a two-year acceleration programme that will provide powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat their near-term carbon reduction goals.

“Washington has been trying to drag us backwards, but America really is moving forward on climate change as cities continue to lead where Washington hasn’t and won’t,” said Bloomberg. “It’s great to see Albuquerque, Austin, Denver, Orlando and San Antonio step up and meet our Climate Challenge with ambitious plans for tackling carbon emissions, and we’re glad to support them as they build healthier and stronger cities.”

 The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is part of the more than $200 million Bloomberg American Cities Initiative designed to help cities achieve critical near-term goals, such as reducing air pollution and citywide emissions from the transportation and buildings sectors that are on average responsible for 80 per cent total of all citywide emissions.

Austin will use the support for the building and transportation sector. They are to cut emissions in the transportation sector by encouraging sustainable commuting, reducing vehicle emissions, increasing electric vehicle (EV) sales and encourage participation in the Austin Energy commercial rebate programme.

San Antonio will use the support and resources to meet electricity demand for municipal operations from 100 per cent renewable sources, reduce energy consumption in municipal and private buildings, as well as developing a plan for a modern, multi-modal transportation system that can be implemented across the city.

Albuquerque will develop a solar energy field to provide service to the City of Albuquerque government operations and achieve 100 per cent energy use from renewable resources by 2022.

Denver will work to improve high-frequency transit lines, add new corridors of high-frequency public transit service, redesign streets to prioritise safety for walking and biking, as well as offer incentives to increase public transit ridership.

Orlando will add 150 EV charging stations throughout the city by 2020 and add more than 50 EVs to rental car fleets through innovative and strategic partnerships with Drive Electric Orlando and the Orlando Utilities Commission.

The five cities will join the other twenty chosen; Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Saint Paul, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, St Louis, St Petersburg, and Washington, DC that will tackle climate change, promote a sustainable future for residents and help deliver on the America’s Pledge.