Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 11, 2019

Five cities added to Climate Challenge

Albuquerque, Austin, Denver, Orlando, and San Antonio have been announced as the final winners in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. These five cities complete the twenty-five total winning cities in the challenge, joining the twenty others previously announced: 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, D.C.

“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 Michael R. Bloomberg, speaking in his capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action at an event celebrating the announcement. “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.”

Each Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge winner is provided technical assistance and a support package valued at up to $2.5 million to help them achieve their carbon reduction goals. Among the plans announced by each of the five final cities are:

Austin plans to cut emissions in the transportation sector by advancing innovative incentive programs to encourage sustainable commuting, implementing new parking management and pricing programs to reduce vehicle emissions, and working directly with local car dealerships to increase electric vehicle sales. In the buildings sector, Austin plans to perform energy efficiency retrofits and retro-commissioning in municipal buildings with high energy use.

San Antonio plans to meet electricity demand for municipal operations from 100% renewable sources, increase the number of electric vehicles in the city fleet and expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations citywide. San Antonio also plans to reduce energy consumption in municipal and private buildings through deep energy retrofits and building energy benchmarking and disclosure programs, as well as improve transit experience by developing a plan for a modern, multi-modal transportation system that can be implemented across the city.

Albuquerque will use its support to develop a solar energy field to provide service to the City of Albuquerque government operations and achieve 100% energy use from renewable resources by 2022. The city will also implement deep energy efficiency retrofits and retro-commissioning of municipal facilities, advance energy efficiency throughout the private sector, and transition light-duty municipal fleet to electric vehicles to help meet its goals.

Denver will focus on using resources and experts awarded through the Challenge to transform its EV market through an education and test-drive campaign and create utility incentives to encourage investment in EV charging infrastructure. The city is aimed at further reducing emissions from its transportation sector and will work to improve high-frequency transit lines, add new corridors of high-frequency public transit service, redesign streets to prioritize 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 city will also pilot a new program to drive energy efficiency performance and encourage the decarbonization of existing buildings, as well as develop new incentives to encourage high-performance green building development.

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