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Cincinnati One Of 20 Cities Awarded Climate Change Grant

downtown cincinnati
Michael E. Keating/WVXU

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Monday Cincinnati is one of 20 cities awarded a grant from the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge.

Mayor John Cranley and others announced the grant Monday during a press conference at City Hall.

The $70 million program will accelerate 20 cities' efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents.

The group said Cincinnati will be provided powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat the city's near-term carbon reduction goals.

"Cities are helping to keep America moving forward on climate change despite the lack of leadership from Washington, and this challenge was designed to help innovative mayors reach their goals," said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action. "We were looking for cities with ambitious and realistic plans to cut emissions in ways that improve people's lives, and mayors committed to getting the job done. Each of these winning cities brings those ingredients to the table - and we're looking forward to working with them and seeing what they can accomplish."

Mayor Cranley said cities and local municipalities will lead the global effort to fight climate change.

"There are many things we can do at the local level to reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate the negative consequences of manmade global warming and climate change," Cranley said.

The city's Environment and Sustainability Director Larry Falkin said the city started conversations with the foundation soon after it heard about the American Cities Climate Challenge.

"They were looking for 20 cities that wanted to go big on their sustainability efforts," Falkin said. "They were looking for cities that were ready to increase the scale of their efforts, increase the scale to the point where it makes enough difference."

Cincinnati plans to use the grant to meet the goals in the Green Cincinnati Plan, and Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with city administrators and the mayor's office to achieve the following actions by 2020:

  • Install large-scale renewable generation to power the Greater Cincinnati Water Works utility
  • Power the municipal energy load with 100 percent renewable energy
  • Advance energy efficiency programs for the commercial and residential buildings sectors, including the development of a robust 2030 District to engage corporate partners around sustainability

Bloomberg Philanthropies said in a release the American Cities Climate Challenge builds on the America's Pledge initiative, which aims to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement, and underscores Michael Bloomberg's dedication to climate action investments that translate city commitments into tangible climate achievements.

Other winning cities announced earlier include Atlanta, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, D.C.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.