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Communications and Public Affairs: 207-7234
Published on Friday, January 11, 2019

San Antonio named winner in Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

San Antonio is one of 25 cities to be awarded with resources and technical support to help achieve their ambitious climate goals under Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

CONTACT: Alex Sarabia, 210-207-8979
Ashley Alvarez, 210-207-2098


SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 11, 2019) – Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced San Antonio as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. At Plaza de Armas, Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg joined Mayor Ron Nirenberg to state San Antonio’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.


“The impacts of climate change are being felt across Texas, and this holds true for San Antonio as well,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “Over the next two years, Bloomberg’s American Cities Climate Challenge will help us fulfill our commitment to creating a more climate-resilient city and promoting cleaner air, lower energy costs, and green economy jobs for a stronger, healthier, and more equitable San Antonio for all.”


Bloomberg Philanthropies selected San Antonio as a winning city because of its innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions. Bloomberg also recognized San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg for his commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer and healthier environment and economy for San Antonio residents.


“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.”


The Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program that will accelerate 25 ambitious cities’ efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for residents. The challenge is part of Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, a suite of more than $200 million in investments to strengthen city halls and advance critical policies.


“The Paris climate agreement is a promise we made to our children—and we’re going to keep it,” said Rhea Suh, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The American Cities Climate Challenge gives cities the tools they need to lead the way. With cities generating the majority of the fossil fuel pollution driving climate change, and bearing the brunt of its impacts, fighting climate change begins in City Hall. These mayors are committed to delivering a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow for future generations.”


San Antonio plans to use this support to help implement the SA Climate Ready Plan, currently under development, with a priority focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the building and transportation sectors. Bloomberg Philanthropies will work the city to achieve the following actions by 2020:

  • Meet electricity demand for municipal operations from 100% renewable sources.
  • Increase the number of electric vehicles in the city fleet and expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations citywide.
  • Reduce energy consumption in municipal and private buildings through deep energy retrofits and building energy benchmarking and disclosure programs.
  • Improve the transit experience and develop an implementable plan for a modern, multi-modal transportation system.


As a Climate Challenge winner, San Antonio will have access to cutting-edge support, led by experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Delivery Associates and others. These resources include a philanthropy-funded team member to facilitate the development and passage of high impact policies, training for senior leadership to assist with implementation of their proposed climate plans and citizen engagement support to maximize community buy-in.


Building on the America’s Pledge initiative, which aims to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement, the Climate Challenge underscores Bloomberg’s dedication to action as this investment will translate city commitments into tangible climate achievements. Bloomberg has announced the winners of the Climate Challenge on a rolling basis throughout the last few months, highlighting the ongoing, ambitious, and impactful actions cities are taking every day to address the growing threat of climate change.