Boston wins climate challenge award from Bloomberg Philanthropies

Boston was one of several US cities that won an award to combat climate change.
Boston was one of several US cities that won an award to combat climate change. David L. Ryan/Globe staff/file/Globe Staff

Boston is among a group of US cities that will receive technical support and resources to help reduce carbon emissions after Bloomberg Philanthropies named the city a winner in the organization’s American Cities Climate Challenge, the office of Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a statement Sunday.

The climate challenge is intended to help 20 US cities combat climate change and “promote a sustainable future for residents,” according to the statement.

Cities account for more than 70 percent of global carbon emissions, according to the statement. The climate challenge was created to help the work being done by mayors across the country in their efforts against climate change, the statement said.


Boston, along with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., were announced as winners of the climate challenge Sunday.

“With our federal government asleep at the wheel, cities are more important than ever in the fight against climate change — and these cities are stepping up to the challenge,” Michael R. Bloomberg, the organization’s founder and former New York City mayor, said in the statement.

Bloomberg is considered a potential presidential contender in 2020.

Boston will receive a two-year support package to increase “low-carbon mobility choices and improve energy performance” of the city’s building sector to help it meet its carbon-reduction goals, according to the statement.

“We’re serious about building a more climate-ready Boston. If we’re to be effective in preparing for rising sea levels and more intense storms, we have to accelerate our actions to reduce carbon emissions. Addressing climate change now is critical to ensuring a greener, healthy Boston for future generations,” Walsh said in the statement.

Boston was chosen “because of its innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions from its building and transportation sectors,” the statement said.

The city will use Bloomberg’s help to support further deployment of the Go Boston 2030 bike network; a “traffic-calming” program for city streets; efforts to reduce single-occupancy car use and encourage use of electric vehicles; offer financial programs and incentives to improve energy performance of buildings; and support workforce development programs with an emphasis on serving low-income communities, the statement said.


Resources provided to winners includes a team member to help facilitate the development and passage of “high-impact” policies, training for senior leadership, and citizen engagement, according to the statement.

Last week, Walsh rolled out a citywide plan to address the threat of rising sea levels and guard against flooding by plugging low-lying spots along Boston’s 47 miles of coastline.

Eligibility for the award is open to the nation’s 100 most-populated cities, according to a statement on Bloomberg’s Philanthropies’ website. Previously announced challenge winners include Atlanta and Seattle.

Cities that win have to commit to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, the landmark international deal between nations intended to limit carbon emissions and help combat global warming, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies’ website.

President Trump withdrew the US from the environmental agreement in June 2017, saying at the time he was ‘‘elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.’’

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.