51st Mayor, City of Seattle
Nickels was the 51st mayor of Seattle, Washington from 2002-2010, served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and represented U.S. Mayors at the Montreal and Copenhagen Climate Summits. As Seattle’s Mayor, Nickels became a national leader in advancing local solutions to climate change. He spearheaded the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, an accord between over 1,050 U.S. cities (and growing) committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet or exceed the levels stipulated in the Kyoto protocols. In Seattle, Nickels’ Environmental Action Agenda increased building energy efficiency and supported zoning that encouraged compact urban centers. He invested heavily in bike and pedestrian planning and infrastructure, which led to Seattle recently receiving the nation’s only Platinum-level designation from Walk Friendly Communities. Under his direction, Seattle opened its first light rail line, stage one of a broader, regional rail plan that Nickels considers a signature achievement. Nickels won the 2006 Climate Protection Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, the 2006 Edgar Wayburn Award for Environmental leadership from the National Sierra Club, and the 2006 National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation. In May 2011, CO2 Impact named Nickels one of the Top 10 Elected Officials Leading the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy.