On Friday, the City of Austin Office of Sustainability announced in a press release that Bloomberg Philanthropies named Austin as one of 25 winning cities in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg joined Mayor Steve Adler and City Manager Spencer Cronk at the Long Center to announce Austin’s acceptance into a two-year acceleration program that will provide powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat its near-term carbon reduction goals.
Austin plans to use this support to reduce emissions from Buildings and Transportation sources, and Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with the city to achieve the following actions by 2020:
- Advance innovative incentive programs to encourage sustainable commuting.
- Work directly with local car dealerships to increase electric vehicle sales.
- Perform energy efficiency retrofits and retro-commissioning in municipal buildings with high energy use.
- Leverage data from existing energy benchmarking policy to increase Austin Energy commercial rebate program participation.
- Implement new parking management and pricing programs to reduce vehicle emissions.
The goals for the program were developed in part using recommendations from the Downtown Austin Parking Strategy, an initiative of the Downtown Austin Alliance to address parking and congestion in downtown Austin.