Michael Bloomberg Presents San Antonio with American Cities Climate Challenge Grant

click to enlarge TRAVIS SNYDER
Travis Snyder
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg today announced the Alamo City will receive reinforcements in the battle to hold back climate change.

San Antonio is one of 25 cities to receive the Bloomberg Philanthropies' American Cities Climate Challenge grant, an initiative to help U.S. cities slash carbon emissions.

"People who call the mayor are not looking for platitudes but for action," Bloomberg said at a press event at Plaza de Armas with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. By that measure, Nirenberg has been "ambitious yet realistic" when it comes to combating climate change, Bloomberg added.

Under the grant, Bloomberg Philanthropies will supply two full-time staff members to help San Antonio implement its Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, or CAAP, over the next two years.

The CAAP, in its final stages, should be ready by March 2019, in time for voters to chew on before May's municipal elections. A draft release of the plan will be unveiled January 23.

According to the Bloomberg Philanthropies' website, winning cities are placed in a "two-year acceleration program with powerful new resources and access to cutting-edge support to help them meet — or beat — their near-term carbon reduction goals."

The grant is a feather in Nirenberg's cap as he looks to move San Antonio in a more sustainable direction.

On the first day of his term in 2017, Nirenberg and city council signed onto the Paris Climate Accord, which President Trump had just dumped. Subscribing to the agreement is a prerequisite to joining the Bloomberg program.

Bloomberg said the award is given to cities whose climate plans focus on buildings and transportation, which Nirenberg noted account for 85 percent of carbon emission in San Antonio. Both mentioned the recent closure of CPS's "Dirty Deely" coal power plant, which garnered applause from a contingent of attendees wearing "March for Science" T-shirts.

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