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City Partners with Prosperity Works to Boost Underserved Communities Affected by Climate Change

Outreach to help people access resources to increase environmental justice

July 6, 2020

The City of Albuquerque and Prosperity Works are signing an agreement for an innovative new program to help bring sustainability resources and planning to underserved communities with a grant $50,000 grant from the Energy Foundation as part of the American Cities Climate Challenge. 

Low income residents have the least access to renewable energy and carry the greatest burdens of climate change, as rising energy costs and increasing scarcity mean more people fall through the cracks. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents are struggling with energy bills. By joining forces with Prosperity Works, the City aims to help local families reduce their residential energy consumption, saving money on bills. The new initiative will also ensure underrepresented community voices shape long term climate planning.

The City of Albuquerque is a recipient of the American Cities Climate Challenge (ACCC), a Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded program that aims help U.S. cities boldly advance policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With a strong focus on equity and inclusion, the Challenge aims to showcase the benefits of bold climate action – good jobs, cleaner air, and cost savings – to every corner of Albuquerque. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, assessing the needs of the often-underserved communities is particularly important.

“As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are rebuilding stronger and with all of our residents in mind,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This Energy Foundation grant, our participation in the American Cities Climate Challenge, and our partnership with local organizations led by Prosperity Works give us an opportunity to hear from those voices most impacted by the effects of a changing climate.”

Prosperity Works will work with the Partnership for Community Action’s parent leaders to survey and provide energy audits and improvements to low income communities experiencing high energy burdens and significant health disparities. Survey questions will gage access and potential improvements to services and programs such as recycling, low emissions transportation, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“We know that the most devastating burdens of climate change are born by low income families so we are excited to have this opportunity to improve the efficiency of their homes while also cultivating a deep understanding of their complex challenges,” said Ona Porter of Prosperity Works.

Survey participants will be connected with opportunities to have ongoing roles in developing the next iteration of the Albuquerque Climate Action Plan. Survey results will be used to directly shape the City’s Climate Action Plan as well as future City-supported programs aimed at reducing residential energy burdens.