Get US Cities to meet Paris agreement emissions reduction commitments by 2025?

January 21, 2021
Bloomberg Philanthropies
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Program Design
Program Design
Partnership Management
Partnership Management
Program & Policy Implementation
Program & Policy Implementation
Measurement & Evaluation and Digital
Measurement & Evaluation and Digital
Storytelling & Communications
Storytelling & Communications
Meeting global carbon emissions reduction goals takes participation at every level of government, all over the world. The American Cities Climate Challenge harnesses the unique role of cities in this international effort.

With more than 80% of Americans and more than half the world living in cities, Mayors and city leaders have a critical role to play in national and global climate work. In collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and other partners, we’re anchoring a technical and implementation support hub for 25 US cities in the American Cities Climate Challenge. Our role includes direct implementation support, coordination, facilitation, and city leadership engagement as these cities find innovative ways to pursue greener transportation, greater energy efficiency in buildings, and more accessible renewable energy solutions. 

Cities are the Delivery Units for systemic change. Climate, equity – we're at the epicenter of all these issues.

–Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer, Pittsburgh, PA

Real-world challenges

Like any layer of government, cities can face structural and historical challenges when it comes to delivering on big goals. Even with a clear public mandate, there can be challenges with cross-departmental coordination to deliver on climate goals, and a disconnect between elected officials and city departments. 

Real-world solutions

Our support is tailored to each city, and includes a close look at the best way to build momentum, consensus, and collaboration across multiple departments. We've supported cities as they establish Climate Implementation Units, engage Mayors and city leadership directly in problem-solving efforts, and bring experts together from across the city and its network.

We also built a custom dashboard for city staff and partners to track and actively manage against milestones. The dashboard is available to everyone participating on the project, from city staff to Mayors and Bloomberg Philanthropies leadership.

And finally, we created team training modules, customized to the Climate Challenge and available to all participating cities, to share skills, structures, and lessons learned, so each city can iterate and progress rapidly.

Real-world results

Together with our partners, we've helped cities promote local ballot measures, conduct large-scale energy audits, budget for building retrofits, boost electric vehicle infrastructure, create bus lanes, negotiate for renewable energy, and more.

Overall, by the first quarter of 2021, cities had locked in 21.5 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 emissions reductions – the equivalent of taking 4.6 million cars off the road.
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