Next Steps for Local Governments
Carrying Out the Climate Smart Communities Pledge
Every Climate Smart Community needs to accomplish the following steps:
- Appoint a climate coordinator or establish an energy or climate task force to assess local resources and issues, galvanize community support and develop an energy or climate plan.
- Identify sources of greenhouse gases in the community.
- Set goals for emission reduction and develop a climate action plan.
- Implement your plan. Most communities begin by reducing emissions from their own facilities, vehicles or programs; some move at the same time to reduce emissions in the community at large.
- Encourage businesses, institutions and individuals to "go green" by demonstrating and explaining the savings from energy efficiency and low-carbon energy.
- Learn from our Climate Smart Communities webinar series. DEC will host a series of occasional Climate Smart Community webinars presenting useful information to promote exchange of ideas among communities and participating agencies. Webinars are accessible to anyone via an Internet connection and telephone.
- Going forward... Notify the Climate Smart Communities program of your successes so the state can recognize your accomplishments and encourage others to join you. Read how some Climate Smart Communities are saving energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The Climate Smart Communities Guide to Local Action contains how-to's and case studies to help communities get started as they implement the CSC pledge.
To help initiate their climate programs or save money on implementation, many New York local governments have joined climate-related associations or advisory groups (see links on right).
Regional climate consortia are becoming increasingly active in New York: the Northern Westchester Energy Action Coalition is a 16-town group seeking cost containment for energy with a strong commitment to reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability is a membership association of local governments committed to climate protection and sustainability. More than 500 local governments in the U.S., including more than 40 in New York have become members of ICLEI and adopted its five milestone planning process for the development and implementation of climate smart initiatives.
The Climate Registry (TCR) is a nonprofit partnership that has established a common system for recording, independently verifying and publicly reporting greenhouse gas emissions. Twenty-one New York public and private organizations, including three local governments, DEC and NYSERDA have enrolled as reporting members to the Climate Registry. Though membership is voluntary, reporting entities are required to verify and publicly report their emissions.