Obama to launch climate contest for cities

The White House is preparing a contest to showcase local government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change.

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“We’ll be announcing a new competition to identify and recognize climate leaders in cities, towns counties and tribal areas across the United States,” White House adviser John Podesta said Thursday at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas.

“These climate leaders will showcase how local governments can take action both to reduce emissions and to build resistance to impacts, double down on community efforts by leveraging existing federal programs and marshaling private ... resources to create a model for communities to follow,” he added.

Podesta said officials will unveil details of the effort in “a few weeks.”

The competition is only the latest part of the administration’s climate action plan.

In June, President Obama launched a $1 billion competition to showcase efforts to better prepare for natural disasters at the local level. That contest will give grants to communities that use innovative techniques for resilience.

Podesta highlighted both government and private efforts within that plan.

 “We need all levels of government, we need all levels of the economy pulling together to reduce emissions, to build resilience, to deploy more clean energy, to invest in energy efficiency, to build more resilient infrastructure and to plan for climate impacts that are already here and ones that we know are underway,” he said.