For the past six months, Long Beach, along with 21 other cities, had set its sights on the top spot in the CoolCalifornia Challenge, a statewide initiative designed to incentivize residents to reduce their carbon footprint. In January, Long Beach sat in second place with 257,659 points, while Claremont sat in first place with 591,126 points.
The official results, announced Thursday, show that Long Beach stayed ahead of its closest competitor, Burlingame, while Claremont remained on top with over 500 engaged households earning the city more than 2 million sustainability points. So while Claremont takes the title for “Coolest California City,” Long Beach, sitting just behind, has officially been named a “Cool California City” for this 2016 challenge.
“I’m so proud of our City and our community partners who are promoting sustainability every day and helped us achieve this recognition,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I want to congratulate Claremont and all the other winning cities, and I’m looking forward to using this prize money to make Long Beach even greener.”
This is Long Beach’s second time participating, after competing in 2014 and winning $10,000, which the Office of Sustainability gave to local school and nonprofits, in partnership with the Long Beach Community Foundation. This year, cities who participated in the six-month competition, will receive a portion of the $150,000 prize based on the percentage of their points, according to the release.
“We are so appreciative of the effort invested by all 22 California cities in this year’s Challenge,” stated Pamela Wellner, Manager, Climate Change Programs for Energy Upgrade California. “The simple ways that participants learned to save energy will have a lasting impact in leading all Californians to implement daily energy-saving habits to lower our carbon footprint.”
This year’s challenge saw nearly 3,200 households engaged in a valiant effort reduce their energy use, saving 5,638 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the energy saving actions’ lifetime, the equivalent of removing more than 2,500 California homes or over 1,100 cars from the road for a year, according to the results. Nearby cities that made the top 10 were South Pasadena, Huntington Beach and Lynwood,
“This year’s Challenge was impressive, bringing together thousands of individuals in 22 cities from all walks of life in healthy competition to be more sustainable,” California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols said. “It’s encouraging to see the number of cities grow each year, and the CoolCalifornia Challenge highlights the crucial role that cities and households play in California’s efforts to fight climate change.”
Claremont, Long Beach and Burlingame will be honored on April 21 at the Green California Summit in Sacramento. For more information about CoolCalifornia Challenge, in partnership with Energy Upgrade California, click here.
Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her on Twitter and Instagram @theasiamorris and via email at [email protected]
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