Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM was honoured with the Cities Power Partnership (CPP) Ambassador Award at the inaugural CPP Awards in Kiama last week.

The CPP is an initiative of the Climate Council, which was established to help Australian towns and cities make the change to clean energy. The CPP Awards celebrate the outstanding work of local governments in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and community advocacy.

The award was presented by Californian climate champion Rex Parris, who is the Mayor of Lancaster - the world’s first zero net energy city.

Mr Parris’s keynote speech detailed the benefits that stemmed from embracing renewables, including increased employment and economic development, as well as a reduction in crime.

Australian councils are well-on track to achieving similar results, with more than 100 councils from across the country having signed up to the Cities Power Partnership, and several vying for the prestigious Climate Action Awards.

Cr Keith was recognised with the Ambassador Award for his commitment to renewable energy and his enthusiastic advocacy for solar power systems.

Cr Ken Keith said “I am overwhelmed to have been honoured with this award. Parkes was one of the founding member councils of the CPP, and I am delighted to see that it is going from strength to strength.”

“It has been incredible to see the kind of work that is being done by other councils around the country. To be recognised amongst such a competitive field certainly is humbling.”

Since 2011, Parkes Shire Council has installed 610kW solar systems across Council assets, to reduce the organisation’s greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate rises in Council’s power expenses. Council is developing further strategies to reduce their carbon footprint, and will continue to incorporate sustainable systems into assets and infrastructure.