The League of California Cities honored Gov. Schwarzenegger with its inaugural Sustainable Community Leadership Award on Wednesday. This award is presented to California leaders who advance a broad vision and agenda of community sustainability for California and its cities. "In designing the award, the league hoped to capture the spirit of the governor's belief in the future of California as a leader in renewable energy development, clean technology and green communities. His commitment to excellence in rebuilding our infrastructure and leadership in environmental quality has established a positive roadmap for California's future," Jim Madaffer, League of California Cities president and San Diego City Council president pro-tem, said.

In presenting the award, which is engraved on a section of an actual solar panel, Madaffer noted the governor's strong commitment to partnering with cities in an effort to safeguard the environment. "The governor not only cares about global warming, renewable resources and air quality, but he understands the broader concept of sustainability, and how it is connected to the practical challenges of making our communities work."

"We are in a new age where technology is everywhere around us and drives everything that we do. It also is our greatest partner and our greatest asset as we work to conquer challenges that threaten our future," governor Schwarzenegger said, speaking at a recent conference on that very same future.

"We're developing clean cars now and alternative fuel. We're reducing our green house gas emissions because that is very important for our future to have a good environment and clean air. We passed AB 32 which is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. We made a commitment to reduce our greenhouse gases by 25 percent by the year 2020, which is taking it back to the 1990 level, and an additional 80 percent by the year 2050. We also passed other laws like the Green Building Initiative," the governor said.

"I believe very strongly that California will be the first state in the union to be energy independent while still fighting global warming," Schwarzenegger continued. "We can do both, even though it will not happen overnight, deep down in my heart, I know that it will happen if we all work together."