Bloomberg awards Orlando $2.5 million to combat climate change


  • Photo by Rob Bartlett
On Friday, billionaire philanthropist and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Orlando is among the list of cities set to receive $2.5 million to help combat climate change.

The City Beautiful is among 25 cities nationwide, from Albuquerque to Denver, San Antonio to Pittsburgh, to receive the grant, dubbed the American Cities Climate Challenge. Orlando joins neighboring St. Petersburg, following Bloomberg's announcement last week.

"Washington has been trying to drag us backwards, but America really is moving forward on climate change as cities continue to lead where Washington hasn't and won't," Bloomberg says in a news release.

The grant program is a $70 million program "designed to catalyze efforts in 25 cities to tackle climate change, promote a sustainable future for residents and help deliver on the America's Pledge initiative to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement," according to the grant's website.

Resources included among the $2.5 million grant include a philanthropy-funded team member to facilitate the development and passage of impactful policies, training for senior leadership to assist with the implementation of proposed climate plans and citizen engagement support to maximum community buy-in, the website states.

Included among Orlando's plans in the grant is the addition of 150 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city by 2020.

"Cities throughout Florida are facing tangible and immediate effects from climate change, and Orlando is no exception," says Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in a statement. "With new resources and support, we are prepared to step up with real solutions that will not only improve our resilience and sustainability, but also create green jobs for our residents. We look forward to getting to work and are excited to be a winner in the Challenge that will help us create a more resilient Orlando."

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