With Climate Change Award, Bloomberg Makes It Rain in Austin

Billionaire ex-New York mayor wants to speed up urban carbon reductions

With Climate Change Award, Bloomberg Makes It Rain in Austin

The budding friendship between Austin and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued to blossom last week, as the media mogul and potential 2020 presidential candidate came to town Friday, Jan. 11, to announce Austin's selection as a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies' American Cities Climate Challenge. Austin joins 24 other U.S. cities, including San Antonio, that have received funds from the Bloomberg program (about $2.5 million in our case) to speed up efforts to meet and beat our civic carbon reduction goals.

"Austin is fighting hard to mitigate climate change, from investing heavily in wind and solar energy production to approving a 100-year strategic water plan that conserves precious resources," Austin Mayor Steve Adler told media, adding that the gift allows the city to "go even further to reduce emissions and promote a healthier environment for our residents." Funding from Bloomberg will go toward already-existing programs in transportation, green building, and Austin Energy, including efficiency retrofits in municipal buildings.

Bloomberg, who is a United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action on top of being worth an estimated $45 billion, conceived of the Climate Challenge as a means to help the U.S. achieve, through its cities, states, businesses, universities, and citizens, the decarbonization goals agreed to in the Paris accords – despite President Trump's petulant abandonment of the Agreement. Having captured City Hall in the Big Apple as both a Republican and an independent, Bloomberg is now assessing his presidential potential (again) as an entrant in the crowded Democratic primary field – potential that can only be increased by his largesse and connection-building across the country. Climate change is just one of several domains upon which Bloomberg Philanthropies has made it rain in Austin; the charity has also funded the work of the city Innovation Office's "iTeam" to forge solutions to our homelessness crisis, and last year gave millions in awards to 26 Austin arts and cultural groups.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More climate change
Point Austin: A More Urgent Warning
Point Austin: A More Urgent Warning
National Climate Assessment amplifies the alarm

Michael King, Nov. 30, 2018

Point Austin: Climate Change Awareness Month
Point Austin: Climate Change Awareness Month
From the Islands and the IPCC comes the latest urgent warning

Michael King, Oct. 12, 2018

More by Mike Clark-Madison
City: More Affordable Housing Everywhere
City: More Affordable Housing Everywhere
Neighborhood Housing and Community Development draft goals to increase inventory for low- and moderate-income households

Feb. 15, 2019

Lege Lines: Full-Day Pre-K Tops School Wish List
Lege Lines: Full-Day Pre-K Tops School Wish List
Bipartisan support emerges for plan to fund full-day pre-kindergarten

Feb. 15, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

climate change, Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Steve Adler

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle