The town of Babylon, NY (a Long Island suburb of New York City) has been chosen to participate in a prestigious Global Green Competition organized by Sir Richard Branson.
The town is one of 15 municipalities worldwide chosen in the first wave the Carbon War Room’s Green Capital Global Challenge. The Carbon War Room is a non-profit organization aimed at identifying opportunities to cut costs and carbon emissions. It was co-founded by the Virgin Group’s Branson and six other entrepreneurs.
The challenge is a two-year program seeking to boost capital and resources into city-led efficiency initiatives. Babylon was chosen due to the popularity of its Long Island Green Homes program, which provides low-interest loans to town homeowners who wish to make their houses more energy efficient. The program has been used an example for other municipalities to follow.
Along with Babylon, participant cities include Atlanta; Burlington, Vt.; Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Gainesville, Fla., New York City; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, Washington, D.C.; Toronto; Vancouver, B.C., Canada; London; Birmingham, England; and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The competition is aimed at driving the cities to find ways to reduce energy costs, create green jobs and improve the quality of life for their residents.
“In this time of uncertainty around the ability to resolve our governments to lead the planet to low-carbon prosperity, it is up to businesses and cities to step up and assume responsibility,” Branson said in a statement. “Mayors are the entrepreneurs of the civic world who realize their pivotal role in the fight against climate change.”
The challenged kicked off at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and will run until the summer of 2012. Results will be announced then in London, home of the 2012 Summer Olympics. A second wave of cities will also be named by the end of this year.
Babylon town officials said they were psyched to be able to participate in a program along with such big cities like London, Copenhagen and New York City.
“Working with Carbon War Room, we will establish program discipline, uniform loan products and demand drivers that will result in unprecedented market penetration of energy efficiency,” Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone said. “To be doing this in the company of larger cities, like our neighbor New York, will be a major game changer.”
by Michael H. Samuels LI Business News
Published: April 28, 2010