Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the City and County of Honolulu as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million dollar program that will accelerate 20 cities' ambitious efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents and businesses.

The Climate Challenge is part of Bloomberg's American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies. Through the Climate Challenge, Honolulu is accepted into a two-year acceleration program, and will be provided powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat the city's near-term carbon reduction goals.
 
Bloomberg Philanthropies selected Honolulu as a winning city because of their innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce fossil-fueled energy use and city-wide emissions with specific projects in the transportation and buildings sectors, which are typically responsible for 80% of all citywide emissions and over which mayors have significant authority. Bloomberg Philanthropies also recognizes Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell for his commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment and economy for all residents and businesses of Oahu.

"Cities are helping to keep America moving forward on climate change despite the lack of leadership from Washington, and this challenge was designed to help innovative mayors reach their goals," said Mike Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action. "We were looking for cities with ambitious and realistic plans to cut emissions in ways that improve people's lives, and mayors committed to getting the job done. Each of these winning cities brings those ingredients to the table - and we're looking forward to working with them and seeing what they can accomplish."

"Being selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of the top 20 cities in the United States committed to tackling climate change demonstrates that our island citizens are leading at a national level and our focus on climate resilience is inspiring others," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. "Every day more residents and businesses realize that fossil fuels are both a drag on our economy and directly responsible for bigger hurricanes and other dangerous climate impacts. This well-earned award will help us accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy lifestyle in Honolulu." 

"The Paris climate agreement is a promise we made to our children—and we're going to keep it," said Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The American Cities Climate Challenge gives cities the tools they need to lead the way. With cities generating the majority of the fossil fuel pollution driving climate change, and bearing the brunt of its impacts, fighting climate change begins in City Hall. These mayors are committed to delivering a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow for future generations."
 
Honolulu plans to use this support to ensure that zero-emission transportation options are increasingly available to O?ahu residents; that new development and buildings are not only more efficient but also increase density in a "carbon-free corridor" along Honolulu's new zero-emission rail line; and that renewable energy and energy efficiency options are maximized throughout Honolulu's existing built environment.