Phi­lan­thropist do­nates $2.5M to help Or­lando fight cli­mate change

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Local - By Kevin Spear ks­[email protected] or­lan­dosen­tinel.com

Bil­lion­aire phi­lan­thropist Michael Bloomberg an­nounced Fri­day that he is adding Or­lando to the list of cities he is pro­vid­ing with $2.5 mil­lion to help fight cli­mate change.

A for­mer mayor of New York City, Bloomberg last year be­gan rolling out his “Amer­i­can Cities Cli­mate Chal­lenge” to pro­vide $70 mil­lion in as­sis­tance to 25 cities from Los An­ge­les to Pitts­burgh and from Seat­tle to St. Peters­burg.

“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 said in a state­ment is­sued after ap­pear­ing in Texas, where he an­nounced that Austin, San An­to­nio, Al­bu­querque, N.M., Den­ver and Or­lando are the most re­cent re­cip­i­ents of the prize.

Or­lando’s plans for the grant in­clude adding 150 elec­tric-ve­hi­cle charg­ing sta­tions by 2020, fur­ther con­vert­ing the city’s fleet of cars and buses to elec­tric, pro­mot­ing ef­fi­ciency in build­ings and ex­pand­ing so­lar en­ergy.

“Cities through­out Flor­ida are fac­ing tan­gi­ble and im­me­di­ate ef­fects from cli­mate change, and Or­lando is no ex­cep­tion,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

With its Bloomberg prize, Al­bu­querque will de­velop so­lar power for city­gov­ern­ment op­er­a­tions, which are to run en­tirely on re­new­able en­ergy by 2022.

Austin will em­pha­size cut­ting green­house-gas emis­sions in the trans­porta­tion sec­tor by en­cour­ag­ing sus­tain­able com­mut­ing, ad­vanced park­ing man­age­ment and work with lo­cal deal­ers to in­crease sales of elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Den­ver also will fo­cus on trans­porta­tion, with im­prov­ing A for­mer mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg last year be­gan rolling out his “Amer­i­can Cities Cli­mate Chal­lenge” to pro­vide $70 mil­lion in as­sis­tance to 25 cities from Los An­ge­les to Pitts­burgh and from Seat­tle to St. Peters­burg.

pub­lic trans­porta­tion a pri­or­ity.

Like Or­lando, San An­to­nio will seek im­prove­ment in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of build­ings.

St. Peters­burg was

awarded the prize ear­lier this month, with Bloomberg stop­ping by for cof­fee with Mayor Rick Krise­man.

FILE PHOTO

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