The US city of Seattle has been named as the inaugural winner of Bloomberg's American Cities Climate Challenge, an ambitious program which helps cities achieve their environmental and sustainability goals.
Bloomberg's American Cities Initiative has been specifically designed to add strength to city halls and advance critical policies and will invest over $200m in the project.
Seattle has now been accepted into a two-year acceleration program and will be provided with additional resources and access to cutting-edge technological support which is aligned with the city's overall strategy to achieve its near-term carbon reduction goals.
Seattle will also receive robust technical assistance and support valued at more than $2.5m per-city in a bid to drastically improve the energy efficiency of buildings across the city and reduce emissions from the transit sector.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan highlighted the destructive effect wildfires and extreme rainstorms have had on Seattle, and said it's vital that the address climate change concerns by implementing new technologies which will reduce its carbon footprint.
The Mayor said, "Seattle has suffered from both increasingly destructive wildfires and extreme rainstorms. Taking climate action isn't just about investing in the future - it's about protecting our communities right now.
In addition to this, the Mayor expressed her delight at the additional funding the city will receive and said the support of Bloomberg represented an exciting new chapter in the city's future.
She added, "In Seattle, we're excited to be part of the solution, pioneering innovative policies that will both reduce our carbon footprint and benefit our city. The support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and the American Cities Climate Challenge will give us critical momentum in achieving our goals."
Bloomberg Philanthropies said it will work with Seattle to achieve the following actions by 2020:
- Expand financing and incentives for building efficiency including the 2030 building pilot that will create the city's most sustainable buildings
- Make Seattle a model for the creation of green jobs through an innovative pilot with Seattle colleges
- Provide new programmes to incentivise public transportation, bikes, and walking over single occupancy vehicles
- Evaluate and advance implementation of strategies based on Seattle Department of Transportation's congestion pricing study.