In 2018, InCEES began developing a relationship with Bloomberg Philanthropies that helped attract support to Washington University to pursue a set of climate-focused initiatives on campus and with the City of St. Louis.

Prior to providing the 2019 Commencement Address at Washington University, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a public announcement of his support for the Midwestern Climate Summit with Chancellor Andrew D. Martin, Mayor Lyda Krewson, and former President of Ohio State University, Michael Drake. The summit aimed to bring together universities, government entities and the private sector to catalyze climate action commitments.

In Fall 2020, more than 1,000 leaders from higher education, non-profit organizations, corporations and government took part in the Midwest Climate Summit. The series of virtual workshops, presented with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, was designed to increase ambition for and accelerate climate action in the Midwest. The Summit will reconvene in Fall 2021.