Denver and River Forest Mayors Win Top Awards

Columbus, OH – As the effects of climate change continue to impact cities across the country, eleven mayors were recognized today for their distinguished leadership in addressing these threats with a 2023 Mayors’ Climate Protection Award. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and his city’s Climate Protection Fund and River Forest Mayor Cathy Adduci and her Cross Community Climate Collaborative were named this year’s top award winners during the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 91st Annual Meeting.

Today’s winners represent the 17th class of mayors to be honored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) for local actions that reduce carbon use and emissions in their cities. These annual mayoral awards are supported through a partnership between USCM and Walmart, specifically recognizing innovative local climate action by mayors throughout the United States.

“Again and again, mayors throughout this nation are showing all of us how to be more efficient in the use of our energy resources and cut carbon use in the process,” said USCM President Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “These awards help tell the story of mayoral leadership, one where these local leaders confront the real challenges of the day and do so in ways that make our cities cleaner, smarter and more livable.”

“As mayors, we’re called upon by our communities to be leaders on climate action. In Denver, we’ve answered that call and are addressing the climate crisis with hope and action,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “The people of Denver made an investment in our future with the Climate Protection Fund, and we couldn’t be prouder that they’re seeing the tangible benefits of this investment as they ride their e-bikes to the grocery store, enjoy the shade of trees in their neighborhoods and power their homes with clean energy.”

“River Forest and its partner communities – through the Cross Community Climate Collaborative – are working together to address the climate crisis and achieve greater equity and more sustainability outcomes,” said River Forest Mayor Cathy Adduci. “Our growing climate challenges require an ambitious response and robust intergovernmental cooperation. Our collaborative leverages perspectives and resources from different mayors and their communities to achieve our goals for greater equity and reduced carbon emissions.”

“These award-winning mayors so inspire all of us to do more to meet our growing challenges,” said Amy Hill, Senior Director for Walmart. “City leaders continue to be at the forefront of combatting climate change, acting in so many innovative ways from energy transformation, regeneration and climate protection, and we are so honored to be part of this effort to recognize their leadership.”

“In President Biden, we have a leader who understands the importance of mayors to a successful national response to our immense climate threats,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and Executive Director. “These award-winning mayors serve as powerful examples of how such leadership is driving climate action, local efforts that are finally being recognized and supported at the federal level.”


Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan – Modernizing Akron’s District Energy Steam Plant; Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot –100% Renewable Power for City Operations by 2025; Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass – Just Transition Strategy; San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria – Climate Action Plan; and Tallahassee Mayor John E. Dailey – City Farm TLH.


Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst – Tree Canopy Sustainability and Growth Program; Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera – Catalyzing Climate Action in Low-Income Multilingual Communities; Duluth Mayor Emily Larson – Progress Up North: Duluth’s Climate Action Work Plan; and Largo Mayor Woody Brown – Sustainability Grant Program Funds Employee Ideas to Improve Resilience and Sustainability.

 Full descriptions of the 2023 Mayors Climate Protection Awards winning programs can be found at: