San Jose to receive up to $2.5M for climate initiatives as Bloomberg competition winner

San Jose will receive up to $2.5 million to mitigate climate change as a winner of the Bloomberg American Cities Challenge, the city announced today.

The city plans to use financial and technical support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, a nonprofit from entrepreneur and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that aims to help cities find solutions to global problems.

The support will be part of a two-year acceleration program to bolster sustainable, electrified transportation and phase out the use of fossil fuels in buildings.

The competition recognized San Jose for Climate Smart San Jose, a program approved by the City Council in February that aims to create 25,000 "green" jobs, reuse 100 percent of the city's wastewater and reduce per capita energy use by 50 percent, among many other goals.

"As an increasing frequency of wildfires, floods and other natural disasters threatens cities across the country, we must accelerate our efforts to combat climate change," Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement.

Liccardo hopes to implement an education- and incentive-based strategy for shared electric vehicles, create priority lanes for walking, cycling and bike- and scooter-sharing systems, and require solar and electric-vehicle readiness for new construction.

San Jose is among 20 cities receiving the award. Others include Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Seattle and Atlanta.

"The response to our Climate Challenge was overwhelming," Bloomberg said in a statement.

He said cities across the country competed with thoughtful proposals, and it wasn't easy to choose a winner.

"With Washington asleep at the wheel, cities need to step up in the fight against climate change -- and these cities are leading the way. Congratulations to them all," Bloomberg said.