BOSTON, June 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mayors of Austin, TX and Schenectady, NY are the nation's top winners in the 2018 Mayors' Climate Protection Awards, an initiative sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Walmart. The winners were announced today during the Mayors' Climate Protection Awards luncheon, which was held in conjunction with USCM's 86th Annual Meeting in Boston, MA. Celebrating its 12th anniversary, this mayors' awards program recognizes mayors for their energy and climate protection efforts, selected by an independent panel of judges from a pool of mayoral applicants.
"As the nation struggles to find a common vision to the growing challenges of a changing climate, Mayors Adler and McCarthy show how local leadership and action offer a pathway to a broader national consensus and response to our climate challenges," said Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, SC and President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "We know we are the first responders but we can't be the only responders, with these award-winning city efforts hopefully inspiring others here in the U.S. and throughout the world to act."
"As cities are leading on climate change, Austin is focused on inclusive innovation around sustainability. We are realizing a more green future and the Austin Energy Community Solar initiative shows the world how everyone in your community can support and benefit from renewable energy," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. "Austin is proud and honored to be cited for our leadership on this critical issue."
"Schenectady has a proud history of innovation and it is more important than ever that we upgrade our technology and infrastructure to tackle climate challenges while improving the efficiency of services and increasing the quality of life for residents. Infrastructure is not only roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, but must also emerging technologies that have the potential to create real value while making our communities more sustainable," said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. "We are extremely honored to be recognized for the Schenectady Sustainability & Innovation Project and look forward to continuing these efforts to improve our climate and strengthen our community."
"We commend Mayors Adler and McCarthy and their respective constituencies in Austin, Texas and Schenectady, New York for their outstanding leadership in advancing climate initiatives to help their cities and the environment," said Kathleen McLaughlin, Chief Sustainability Officer for Walmart, Inc.
"U.S. mayors are well into their second decade of climate leadership, showing others that there are effective and affordable responses to our climate challenges," said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "The creativity and imagination in crafting theses local initiatives and strategies should serve as an inspiration to others, especially for leaders in our nation's capital."
In addition to the first place winners, Honorable Mentions were awarded to mayors in six large cities and five small cities for their exceptional achievements in efforts to promote climate protection.
LARGE CITY HONORABLE MENTIONS: Stephen H. Hagerty, Mayor of Evanston; Jacob Frey, Mayor of Minneapolis; Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City; Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix; Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San José; and Jeri Muoio, Mayor of West Palm Beach.
SMALL CITY HONORABLE MENTIONS: Richard C. David, Mayor of Binghamton; James Morgan, Mayor of Derry; Catherine Blakespear, Mayor of Encinitas; Jeff Duclos, Mayor Hermosa Beach; and Liz Alpert, Mayor of Sarasota.
Full descriptions of the 2018 Mayors' Climate Protection Award winning programs can be found at: www.usmayors.org/climateprotection/2018awards.
For more information about USCM's 86th Annual Conference, please visit www.usmayors.org/.
About The United States Conference of Mayors -- The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.
SOURCE U.S. Conference of Mayors