WASHINGTON – The Obama administration on Wednesday morning recognized Boston as one of 16 communities who are actively working to combat the impacts of climate change, pointing to several initiatives that should be a model for other urban areas around the country.
Boston was chosen among 60 applicants in a competition that the White House launched earlier this year to try and identify communities that were developing ambitious plans to combat and prepare for climate change impacts. The Department of Energy on Wednesday helped choose the winners of the competition, calling them Climate Action Champions.
Boston was recognized for several initiatives, including its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050.
“They’re definitely one of the best in show cities around the county,” John Podesta, a counselor to President Obama who oversees climate change and energy policy, told reporters on Wednesday.
Podesta said the winners will gain access to additional federal data that can help “forecast what the patterns of weather are likely to be, and really help build resilience into the cities.”
They also will be given a federal coordinator to help Boston officials better gauge the impact of climate change, and move forward on planning. It does not appear that specific grant money is provided, but Boston could participate in pilot programs or training exercises. It will also have preferred status in applying for certain competitive federal grant programs.
The other communities recognized were spread around the country, and included Montpelier, Vt., as the only other place in New England.
“It is an honor to receive this recognition,” Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement. “Boston has made great progress reducing our carbon footprint and preparing for the impacts of climate change, but we still have work to do. These new resources will help Boston implement its updated Climate Action Plan and achieve our climate and sustainability goals.”