From Plans to Progress: Catalyzing Climate Action through the American Cities Climate Challenge

By Kelly Shultz and Anne Emig of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Environment and Government Innovation teams Last week, the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge brought together more than 100 of the country’s foremost city sustainability leaders for a three-day convening in Austin. Participants represented a robust network of world-class partners, dedicated city officials, and leading policy experts who all share one common goal: fight climate change on a local level to create healthier, more resilient, and more sustainable communities for city residents. When deciding where to convene the Climate Challenge winners, we couldn’t think of a better location than Austin. Through strategic implementation of programs, and partnership with city departments, the community and private sector, Austin is on track to achieve its near-term community wide carbon emissions reduction target of 22% by 2020. Under Mayor Steve Adler’s leadership, Austin is demonstrating how to turn ambitious long term goals into actual impact on the ground—and that’s what the Climate Challenge is all about! From deep dives into the nitty-gritty of energy efficiency policy to breakout sessions on the inextricable connection of climate action and equity, the convening sparked what will be one of the key elements of the Climate Challenge: providing […]

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