Bloomberg to support local climate change efforts

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will provide Minneapolis with $2.5 million in assistance and support over the next two years to help it work toward its climate goals, he announced Oct. 29.

The package will include a “philanthropy-funded team member,” training for senior leadership and citizen engagement, according to a press release from Bloomberg’s charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies. Minneapolis will use the assistance to help implement its climate goals, which include increasing low-carbon modes of transportation and implementing a citywide solar strategy.

The announcement came as Bloomberg Philanthropies continues its $70 million American Cities Climate Challenge, a program through which it will provide support to 20 cities to help achieve climate goals. The organization has already announced 17 of the cities it plans to support, a list that includes Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, among others.

Bloomberg joined Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter near the Stone Arch Bridge to announce seven additional cities, including Minneapolis, St. Paul and Chicago.

“With Washington asleep at the wheel, cities are more important than ever in the fight against climate change,” he said in a press release.

According to the release, Minneapolis plans to develop a mobility-as-a-service pilot, offering a subscription service for unlimited transit use and an allotment of use for shared cars, bikes, scooters and ride-hailing. Frey said in the release that Minneapolis has become a national leader on climate, noting its commitment to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and its Green Business program.

“Through the American Cities Climate Challenge, we’re excited to do even more for our residents, making clean energy accessible for everyone and improving our city transit,” he said. “We are proud to be a winner and have the opportunity to help set the example of smart policies for our economy, environment, and residents, for other cities across the U.S.”

St. Paul plans to build out 35 mobility hubs to offer more low-carbon options and electric-vehicle charging, according to the release. It hopes to eventually bring 90 percent of residents within 10 minutes of four to five transportation options that are either human powered, electric or low carbon.

The challenge builds on the America’s Pledge initiative, which aims to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement, according to the release. The release said the challenge underscores Bloomberg’s dedication to investments that translate city commitments into tangible climate achievements.