Charlotte one of 20 cities splitting $70 million to take on climate change

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte is one of 20 cities splitting $70 million to take on climate change.

On Wednesday morning, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg joined Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles at the UNC Charlotte Center City Garden to announce Charlotte as the 19th winning city in Bloomberg’s American Cities Climate Challenge.

Launched in June, the American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program that will accelerate efforts in 20 winning cities to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents. Through the Climate Challenge – which is part of Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative – Charlotte is accepted into a two-year acceleration program that will provide powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat its near-term carbon reduction goals.

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“With Washington asleep at the wheel, cities like Charlotte are leading the way in the fight against climate change,” said Bloomberg. “Charlotte took on our Climate Challenge with an ambitious plan to tackle emissions from their buildings and transportation network, and we're glad to support Mayor Lyles and her team as they work to build a healthier and stronger future.”

“Charlotte has always been a city of reinvention and ambition,” Mayor Lyles said. “Working toward a sustainable and resilient community will help create economic opportunity for everyone through affordable housing, accessible transportation and a clean-energy workforce.”

Winning cities will be provided technical assistance and a support package to help them achieve their carbon reduction goals, including a philanthropy-funded team member to facilitate the development and passage of high impact policies, training for senior leadership to assist with implementation of their proposed climate plans, and citizen engagement support to maximize community buy-in.

Charlotte will use the support from the Climate Challenge to upgrade municipal fleets to electric vehicles and increase community-wide access to public transit by an average of 41 percent. Charlotte also plans to implement policy shifts, modernizing the development ordinance to address sprawl, and creating new financing programs for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

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