State air board awards ten cities for greenhouse-gas reduction efforts
The cities of Riverside, Claremont and Rancho Cucamonga — top finishers in a competition among cities to cut carbon emissions — received special recognition today at an award ceremony before the California Air Resources Board, marking the completion of the second CoolCalifornia City Challenge.
In a hard-fought battle, the city of Riverside edged out second-place Claremont to be crowned the state’s “Coolest California City.” Claremont and third-place Rancho Cucamonga each were named “Cool California Cities.” ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols presented the mayor or representative of all three finalist cities with a special award at today’s Air Resources Board meeting. The Board also recognized all participating Challenge cities, including Arcata, Burlingame, Chula Vista, Corona, Long Beach, Lynwood and Mission Viejo.
Together, all 10 Challenge cities engaged nearly 4,000 households to take simple, everyday actions to reduce their carbon footprint. Compared to last year, this year’s challenge had 40 percent more households and 60 percent more greenhouse gas reductions in half the time. In total the participants saved more than 800,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent to removing more than 140 California homes from the grid or 80 automobiles from the road for a year.
“This year’s competition was impressive, engaging thousands of households and civic groups in simple actions to fight climate change, and save money at the same time,” ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols said. “The CoolCalifornia City Challenge once again demonstrated the important role that cities play in the state’s efforts to fight climate change and move us toward a cleaner, sustainable economy.”
Today’s award ceremony wraps up the six-month challenge in which thousands of households in cities across California competed for the biggest citywide carbon footprint reduction. Cities sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create vibrant, healthy communities by encouraging residents to conserve household energy and reduce emissions from driving cars.
Participants engaged in a wide range of activities, including replacing light bulbs with more efficient LEDs, drying clothes on the line, using less air conditioning when possible, and biking or taking public transit. Some chose to invest in rooftop solar or purchase electric vehicles, decisions that will provide carbon reductions and additional savings for many years.