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Mike Bloomberg Names Albuquerque a Winner in Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

Albuquerque is one of 25 cities to be awarded with resources and technical support to help achieve their ambitious climate goals under Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge.

January 14, 2019

Friday, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Albuquerque as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. The two-year acceleration program will give Albuquerque powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat its goals of achieving a net-zero electric bill and reducing the City’s overall carbon footprint. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program that will accelerate 25 ambitious cities’ efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents. The program 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.

Bloomberg Philanthropies selected Albuquerque as a winning city because of their innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions with specific projects aimed at reforming their respective transit and buildings sectors, areas which are typically responsible for 80% total of all citywide emissions and over which mayors have significant authority. Bloomberg recognized Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller for his commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment and economy for Albuquerque residents.

“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.”

“When I became Mayor, I knew we couldn’t count on Washington, D.C. for leadership on climate change and that we needed to step up at the local level,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Here in Albuquerque, we still believe in science. We signed the Paris Climate Agreement, set a goal of getting to a net zero energy bill, and started installing solar panels on our facilities. Because of this partnership with Bloomberg, we are going to be able to take our commitment to the next level and get to 100% renewable energy usage by 2022. We’re also going to be able to transition many of our city vehicles to electric and make our facilities more efficient. This award is a game-changer for our sustainability efforts.”

“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.”

Albuquerque plans to use this support to accelerate sustainability and renewable energy projects and Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with the city to achieve the following actions by 2020:

  • Develop solar energy field to provide service to the City of Albuquerque government operations and achieve 100% energy use from renewable resources by 2022
  • Transition light-duty municipal fleet to electric vehicles
  • Deep energy efficiency retrofits and retro-commissioning municipal facilities and advance energy efficiency throughout the private sector

As Climate Challenge winners, the 25 winning cities are accepted into a two-year acceleration program with powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support, led by experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Delivery Associates and others, to help them meet – or beat – their near-term carbon reduction goals, from creating high-impact policies to putting them into action. These resources include a philanthropy-funded team member to facilitate the development and passage of high impact policies, training for senior leadership to assist with implementation of their proposed climate plans, and citizen engagement support to maximize community buy-in.

Building on the America’s Pledge initiative, which aims to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement, the Climate Challenge underscores Bloomberg’s dedication to action as this investment will translate city commitments into tangible climate achievements. Bloomberg has announced the winners of the Climate Challenge on a rolling basis throughout the last few months, highlighting the ongoing, ambitious, and impactful actions cities are taking every day to address the growing threat of climate change.


About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter.

About the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

Recognizing that cities account for more than 70% of global carbon emissions, the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge was formed with an investment of $70 million to enhance the work already being done by mayors across the U.S. and to support cities in the fight against climate change. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge aims to go beyond the theoretical and scale up high-impact urban climate solutions that are already proven to succeed - specifically, from the buildings and transportation sectors. World-class partners for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge will be led by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Delivery Associates. The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies.