Climate Smart Communities Certification Program
Guidance and Recognition
To provide local governments with a more robust framework to guide their climate actions and to provide recognition to leading Climate Smart Communities, the participating agencies are developing a Climate Smart Communities Certification program. Designed around the existing ten pledge elements, the certification program will recognize communities for their accomplishments through a rating system leading to four levels of award: Certified, Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Rating System and Actions
The rating system includes a variety of actions that can have an effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing local resilience, or building a green economy. It is based on the following features:
- Is Broadly Applicable - Applicable and useful to all local governments in New York State
- Is User Friendly - Easy to navigate menu‐based system, which allows local governments to select actions that are most appropriate to their local needs
- Acknowledges Early Adopters - Jurisdictions can earn points for actions implemented before the release of the rating system
- Promotes Ongoing Action - The framework and overall program are designed to drive ongoing action toward achieving goals
- Rewards Leaders - Bonus points can be awarded for those that are able to demonstrate performance improvements or innovative strategies
The certification manual describes more than 130 actions for which CSCs can receive points toward certification and higher award levels. Thirteen of these actions have been designated as "priority" actions and a specified number of these actions is required to attain each level of achievement.
Points will also be awarded for actions that were accomplished prior to participation in this program. However, to receive points for any of the actions, CSCs will be required to submit appropriate documentation.
Recertification of completed actions will be required every five years.
Details of the program and the specific documentation required for each action are described in the CSC Certification Manual (also divided into parts/pledge elements for easier downloading):
- Climate Smart Communities Certification Manual in Full (PDF, 2.62 MB)
- Certification Manual Introduction and Program Requirements (PDF, 390 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 1 (PDF, 245 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 2 (PDF, 266 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 3 (PDF, 657 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 4 (PDF, 274 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 5 (PDF, 343 KB))
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 6 (PDF, 509 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 7 (PDF, 632 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 8 (PDF, 320 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 9 (PDF, 220 KB)
- Certification Manual Pledge Element 10 (PDF, 206 KB)
- Certification Manual Innovation Bonus (PDF, 180 KB)
- Certification Manual Performance Bonus (PDF, 229 KB)
- Certification Manual Action Checklist (PDF, 199 KB)
Communities Can Get Started Now
Although the certification program will not be fully operational until 2017, we are already accepting documentation on the 13 priority actions. Local governments are encouraged to use this opportunity to lay a foundation for local climate action by completing and documenting priority actions and commencing selected optional actions in anticipation of full program deployment.
More about Climate Smart Communities Certification Program:
- Certification Program Priority Actions - Provides detailed information about the 13 priority actions of the certification program.