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2008 Mayors' Climate Protection Award Winners Announced

Seattle (WA), Carmel (IN) Receive Top Honors

Miami, FL — Mayors Greg Nickels of Seattle (WA), and James Brainard of Carmel (IN) have been awarded first place honors in the 2008 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards Program. The second annual awards, sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., recognize and honor mayors for their outstanding and innovative practices to increase energy efficiency in their cities and to help curb global warming.

An independent panel of judges, selected by The U.S. Conference of Mayors, determined the winning cities from a pool of over 60 applicants based on the following criteria: mayoral leadership, creativity and innovation, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and/or improved quality of life in their community.

Outstanding Achievement Awards were received by:
(Large cities) – Denver Mayor John W. Hickenlooper; Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman; Houston Mayor Bill White; and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
(Small cities) – Chapel Hill (NC) Mayor Kevin C. Foy; Columbia (MO) Mayor Darwin Hindman; Highland Park (IL) Mayor Michael Belsky; and Orland Park (IL) Mayor Daniel J. McLaughlin.

"These two leading mayors, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Carmel Mayor James Brainard have proven that despite an economic downturn in cities and our nation, mayors continue to do what’s right to protect our climate in America. Their actions serve as outstanding examples for other cities of all sizes,” said Conference President Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer. “We also commend all the other winners including outstanding achievement and honorable mentions for all their work and dedication to improve our environment.”

"Our mayors stand at the gateway to the lives and homes of everyday Americans, and Wal-Mart is proud to recognize those that are working to make climate protection a priority," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, U.S. "While the challenge of climate change remains, together we are helping Americans reduce their energy use and save money so they can live better. With the commitment of USCM, Wal-Mart and everyday citizens, we will continue to move our cities, our nation and our planet forward toward a more sustainable future."

First Place - Award Winning Program Summaries:

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (Large City)
Program Name: Seattle Climate Action Now

Seattle Climate Action Now is a grassroots climate protection campaign aimed at giving Seattle residents the tools they need to start making a real difference at home, at work and on the road. Launched in September 2007, Seattle Climate Action Now is a City-led effort, but is grounded in partnerships with businesses, organizations and individuals throughout Seattle. The program is innovative in its comprehensive approach to engaging all Seattle residents, organizations and businesses to modify their behavior to substantially reduce GHG emissions.

Seattle has adopted climate protection goals to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012, but reaching their target will require that every resident, household, business and institution in Seattle do their part. Climate Action Now supports the City’s overall Climate Action Plan in three principle ways: Shifting specific behaviors that result in measurable GHG reductions; Building public support for new municipal policies; and Building local support for regional, state and federal policy agendas.

During the first year, Climate Action Now is focusing on transportation and home energy, Seattle’s two largest sources of emissions, through a variety of outreach programs including a ‘one-less car’ challenge, weekend incentives to take alternative transportation and distributing thousands of home energy efficiency kits. One particularly successful program is “Twist and Save,” which offers Seattle consumers Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs for less than $1 each. By the end of 2008, the City will have distributed over 1 million bulbs, which will ultimately reduce Seattle emissions by over 20,000 tons of CO2e.

Carmel Mayor James Brainard (Small City)
Program Name: Roundabouts

Mayor Jim Brainard made the case for installing roundabouts in Carmel, Indiana by promoting their proven environmental friendliness, safety benefits, cost savings and ability to smooth traffic flow. The City of Carmel began installing roundabouts in 1996 and now has 40 on city thoroughfares with over 20 more planned and funded within three years.

Carmel is located in Hamilton County, Indiana, a non-attainment area designated by the Environmental Protection Agency. This designation can adversely affect aspects of federal funding and growth in the area. Poor air quality is also a detriment to citizens’ health. Roundabouts can help improve overall air quality by cutting down on idling engines that occur at four-way stop and signalized intersections.

When compared with signalized intersections, roundabouts save an average of 24,000 gallons of gas per year per roundabout with traffic counts ranging from 14,000 to 47,000 AADT (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety). This amounts to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as cars continue to move through roundabout intersections by yielding at the entry rather than having to stop and idle. The City of Carmel currently has built 40 roundabouts in the past 12 years with more than 20 planned and funded. This is the highest number of any city in North America.

Honorable Mention citations were also awarded to the following cities:
Bartlett (IL) Mayor Catherine J. Melchert; Chattanooga, (TN) Mayor Ron Littlefield; Colorado Springs, (CO) Mayor Lionel Rivera; Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums; Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon; Pleasanton (CA) Mayor Jennifer Hosterman; San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom; and Scranton (PA) Mayor Christopher A. Doherty

The Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards were jointly presented at the Conference of Mayors’ 76th Annual Meeting in Miami, FL by Conference President Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer and Eduardo Castro-Wright, President & CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, U.S.. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s support makes the Climate Protection Awards Program possible.

For a full listing of all the winning entries of the 2008 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards, please visit: www.usmayors.org