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A Guide to Local Action

Image of NYS with information about Climate Smart Communities' actions around the state.

Members of the Climate Smart Communities program are a network of New York communities engaged in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving climate resilience. The program provides guidance to local governments on best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Communities can take action in two main ways to minimize the risks of climate change and reduce its long-term costs:

Reducing GHG Emissions: Starting now to reduce GHG emissions and create permanent carbon sinks that remove GHG emissions from the atmosphere - these actions will help stabilize atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide at manageable levels and avoid severe climatic changes.

Adapting to a Changing Climate: Altering the built and natural environment in anticipation of predicted climatic changes, or in response to actual changes, will alleviate the risks associated with unavoidable changes in climate.

The Climate Smart Communities program is jointly sponsored by the following six New York State agencies: Department of Environmental Conservation; Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Department of Public Service; Department of State; Department of Transportation; and Department of Health.

Climate Smart Communities Certification

The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program provides local governments with a robust framework to guide climate action and enables high-performing communities to achieve recognition for their leadership. A new online portal was announced on April 20, 2018 to facilitate the process of applying to be Certified Climate Smart Community. To learn more, please visit the portal at https://climatesmart.ny.gov/ (link leaves DEC website).


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