Honolulu announced as a winning city in national climate change challenge

Honolulu announced as a winning city in national climate change challenge
(Source: HNN/File)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The City and County of Honolulu just won national recognition in the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Change Challenge — a prize that will help the city significantly accelerate green energy goals over the next two years.

The announcement came Sunday that Honolulu was announced as a winning city in the challenge, which will help Honolulu and 19 other cities across the nation reach their goals in fighting climate change.

Honolulu earned a top spot for its commitment to reducing fossil fuel use in city transportation, as well as Mayor Caldwell’s ambitions for securing a cleaner and safer environment and economy for residents and businesses on Oahu.

“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,” Bloomberg added.

The challenge offered up more than $200 million total in investments towards cities with environmentally-friendly policies. Honolulu will now be accepted into a two-year program that will provide access to cutting-edge support and resources to help reach the city’s carbon reduction goals.

“Every day more residents and businesses realize that fossil fuels are both a drag on our economy and directly responsible for bigger hurricanes and other dangerous climate impacts. This well-earned award will help us accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy lifestyle in Honolulu,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will also work with the city to achieve the following actions by 2020:

● Open for service the first 11 miles of rail transit in Honolulu, creating an emission-free mobility option along one of the state’s most congested highway corridors.

● Serve as a model of sustainable urbanization, maximizing the number of residents and businesses who can locate walkable neighborhoods connected by carbon-free travel choices such as bikeshare, electric scooters, electric buses, and rail.

● Analyze the feasibility of a Go Zone for Waikiki that increases the use of zero-emission travel in Honolulu’s densest neighborhood and decreases the noise and pollution from fossil fuel transportation.

“Being selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of the top 20 cities in the United States committed to tackling climate change demonstrates that our island citizens are leading at a national level and our focus on climate resilience is inspiring others,” Caldwell added.

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