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American Express Commits Over $5 Million to Help Cities Build Resilience to Fight Climate Change

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American Express Commits Over $5 Million to Help Cities Build Resilience to Fight Climate Change

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Grants pledged to Ocean Conservancy, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Resilient Cities Catalyst, and Regional Plan Association as part of company’s $10 million philanthropic goal toward backing low-carbon communities

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) taking place next week in Egypt, American Express is pledging more than $5 million to organizations helping cities and coastal communities build resilience against future climate-related events, including Ocean Conservancy, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Resilient Cities Catalyst, and Regional Plan Association. These multi-year grants are part of American Express’ Environmental, Social and Governance pillar to advance climate solutions with a goal to back low-carbon communities through at least $10 million in philanthropic funding by 2025.

Earlier this year, the company announced $3.1 million in grants to support nature-based solutions and sustainability efforts in local communities. Including the grants in this announcement, American Express has now pledged over $8 million in grants towards its $10 million philanthropic goal.

“Combating climate change starts at the local level as the negative impacts of climate-related events are experienced in local communities with regional organizations and leaders on the front lines driving action and disaster response,” said Madge Thomas, Head of Corporate Sustainability and President of the American Express Foundation. “We’ve seen the impact of extreme weather events in cities around the world, which is why we’re making it a priority to invest in initiatives that provide cities with infrastructure and tools to prepare for disasters, which can help them to remain safe and thriving centers of community, commerce and tourism.”

See related article: American Express Pledges $2 Million to the United Negro College Fund

American Express’ new partnerships include:

  • $2.5 million to Ocean Conservancy to help scale the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) and the Urban Ocean® program — two programs that partner with local groups in cities and coastal communities around the world to help prevent the flow of trash and plastic pollution into the ocean, promote resilience and protect ecosystems. In addition, the grant will be used to build an active network of volunteers, including American Express colleagues around the world. American Express and Ocean Conservancy have been partnering on beach cleanup events since 2018 as part of the company’s Green2Gether program.
  • $1.5 million to Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC) to support its Neighborhood Climate Resilience program by designing and delivering community-led climate resilience projects to communities affected by the impacts of climate change within the City of Houston, the City of Tampa and international locations. The program will support a cohort of climate leaders to co-design infrastructure and community building projects that utilize nature-based or clean energy solutions to help increase the resilience of neighborhoods to future risks and disasters.
  • $1.2 million to Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) to install solar energy systems on homes and small businesses in low- and moderate-income communities in three cities, including Phoenix and Salt Lake City. These systems lower energy costs for businesses and residents, can be more resilient during extreme weather, support local clean energy jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • $150,000 to the Regional Plan Association to address climate change and disaster resilience in New York City and the greater tri-state region, including northern New Jersey and southeastern Connecticut. Coinciding with the 10-year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy this year, the grant will support the development of a Resilience Agenda for the tri-state region with goals, targets and actions for city leaders and policy makers, informed by research and engagement with community stakeholders. In addition, the grant will support events and workshops focused on opportunities to address and respond to climate change from the local to the regional level.

Source: American Express

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