A few weeks ago, Michael Bloomberg, former New York mayor, visited Pittsburgh. Bloomberg and Pittsburgh mayor, Bill Peduto, announced that Pittsburgh won the first round of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. As the winner, Pittsburgh will receive $2.5 million, which will be used to make greener policies for buildings, make the city friendlier to biking and pedestrian traffic, and make renewable energy more accessible for communities. Bloomberg and Peduto were optimistic about these new measures working since Pittsburgh has proved itself able to come back from being an old, smog-filled city of steel mills, to the modern city it is today, filled with education and scientific opportunities.
The Bloomberg American Cities Challenge began back in June 2017, when President Trump made public his plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an international agreement that had 181 countries backing it. This Agreement was first proposed in the fall of 2015 and is meant to made to help incentivize countries to fight climate change by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and prevent the global temperature from increasing 2 degrees Celsius. Public reactions to President Trump’s decision was largely negative, internationally and domestically. This has led to some cities, and sometimes entire states, to declare themselves as anti-Washington. More left-leaning states have said that they will show their protest against the current administration’s decisions by following the plans from the Paris Agreement and continuing to combat climate change. For example, The United States Climate Alliance has been formed between 16 states and Puerto Rico, who still want to follow the plan to combat climate change.