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Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Houston  Mayor Annise Parker have been selected as the nation’s top winners in the 2011 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards, an initiative sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Walmart.

The annual awards program in its fifth year recognizes mayors for innovative practices in their cities that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An independent panel of judges selected the winners from a pool of 130 applicants.

“Traveling throughout nation and the world, it is the innovation and commitment of U.S. mayors, like the winners being announced today, who are leading the nation toward greater energy independence and lower carbon emissions,” said Conference President Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz. “Each mayor is acting locally, just as in my City of Burnsville where our sustainability plan guides us towards ever greater efficiency in our buildings and operations and in developing solar and other new renewable energy supplies.”

“Parker’s efforts to improve the efficiency of the city’s building stock, both city-owned and privately-owned, is a very broad and bold undertaking, one that will substantially reduce energy use and associated carbon emissions. Under Tisdahl’s leadership, the city has embraced an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions in city operations by 13 percent by 2013. Both mayors are showing that both leadership and results matter,” Kautz said.

“We are proud to honor these cities and their mayors, who remind all of us how their leadership is making a real difference in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of life in their communities,” said Maggie Sans, Walmart’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations. “At the end of the day, these local efforts reduce our energy dependence and save money, results that strengthen the U.S. economy.”

“It is an honor to be recognized for our Evanston Climate Action Plan, where our community leaders and the public identified more than 200 strategies to guide the city as we move forward in reducing our carbon emissions,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

First Place Award Program Summary for Evanston:
Evanston (IL) Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl for the Evanston Climate Action Plan (Small City Category – population under 100,000)
Beginning with the City Council’s unanimous affirmation of the mayor’s action to join as a signatory to the Conference’s Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the city went to work on developing its Evanston Climate Action Plan (ECAP). Drawing upon the input of more 130 community members and more than 200 identified strategies to reduce greenhouse gases throughout the city, the mayor and city departments have used the ECAP to achieve its goal of reducing the city’s emissions by 13 percent by 2013. Its 2010 greenhouse gas emissions inventory shows a 22 percent reduction in municipal emissions below the 2005 baseline (reduction of an estimated 24,560 Metric Tons