Source: Cincinnati Business Courier, by Chris Wetterich
Mayor John Cranley’s plan to lessen Cincinnati’s impact on the climate will get major financial assistance from Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist and former New York City mayor, the city and Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Monday.
Bloomberg Charities will award the city $2.5 million, which includes the value of some technical expertise, to power city-owned facilities with renewable energy as well as accelerate energy efficiency programs for commercial and residential buildings.
Cranley also announced two new participants, Procter & Gamble and Fifth Third Bank, in Cincinnati’s 2030 District, a public-private partnership spearheaded by the local environmental group, Green Umbrella, in which organizations and companies commit to reducing their buildings’ energy and water use as well as their transportation emissions by 50 percent by 2030. About 60 percent of Cincinnati’s global-warming causing greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings and 30 percent from transportation.
“I’m confident that the gravitas of those institutions will inspire through peer pressure additional members,” Cranley said.
The city plans to install large-scale renewable power generation at Greater Cincinnati Water Works as well as use 100 percent renewable energy to power city of Cincinnati facilities.
Bloomberg’s American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million effort to accelerate 20 cities’ efforts to deal with climate change and promote a sustainable future. The city will be one of 20 in a two-year acceleration program and provided resources with the goal of helping it meet or beat the city’s near-term carbon reduction goals. Cities account for more than 70 percent of global carbon emissions.
“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,” Bloomberg said in a news release. “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.”
The Green Cincinnati Plan includes 80 strategies to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050.
“It has become clear that cities and local municipalities will lead the global effort to fight climate change, and Cincinnati is on the front lines,” Cranley said. “I am encouraged by the changes we are making, but we have a lot of work left to do.”