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Certification Program Priority Actions

The Climate Smart Communities (CSCs) certification program comprises more than 120 actions for which CSCs can receive points toward certification and higher award levels. Thirteen (13) of these actions are considered fundamental to a successful municipal climate program and have been designated as "priority" actions (See table below).

Certification Priority Actions
Action Number Action
1.1 Pass a resolution adopting the CSC Pledge
1.2 Create a community task force focused on climate mitigation and adaptation
1.3 Appoint a Climate Smart Community coordinator
1.4 Create an internal green team focused on climate mitigation and adaptation
2.1 Develop a government operations GHG emissions inventory
2.2 Develop a community GHG emissions inventory
2.3 Establish a government operations emissions reduction target
2.4 Establish a community emissions reduction target
2.5 Develop a government operations climate action plan
2.6 Develop a community climate action plan
3.1 Conduct energy audits of local government buildings
7.1 Conduct a vulnerability assessment
7.3 Review existing community plans and projects to identify climate adaptation strategies as well as policies or projects that may increase vulnerability

Basic certification requires completion of four of the 13 priority actions, including adopting the pledge and appointing a CSC coordinator. Higher award levels require completion of additional priority actions so that all 13 priority actions must be completed to achieve the silver award level.

Documentation Submittal

CSCs may submit documentation of any of the more than 100 currently reviewable actions as indicated in the Certification Manual Action Checklist. Certification First Steps (see link at right) provides instructions for submitting action documentation to the Office of Climate Change. Document submittals must be accompanied by the documentation submittal form (see link at right). All documentation should be submitted through a single community designated point person via e-mail to the Office of Climate Change or via the alternative submittal methods described in Certification First Steps.

Priority Action 1.1 Pass a Resolution Adopting the CSC Pledge - 4 Points

Submit: A certified copy of the resolution adopting the CSC pledge, with adoption date clearly noted, and any relevant clerk stamps or signatures. The resolution must have been adopted prior to the application date.

Priority Action 1.2 Create a Community Task Force Focused on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - 8 Points

Submit: A list of the task force members and the organizations they represent, along with meeting minutes from two of the task force meetings within the past year. If applicable, a copy of the resolution or executive order calling for the formation of the task force or indicating that another local committee will serve as the community task force.

Priority Action 1.3 Appoint a Climate Smart Community Coordinator - 8 Points

Submit: Documentation demonstrating appointment and activity as the CSC coordinator (or similar title). This could include a resolution, meeting minutes, job description, or an organizational chart. The position must be currently filled to earn points for this action.

Priority Action 1.4 Create an Internal Green Team Focused on Climate Mitigation and Adaptation - 8 Points

Submit: A list of green team members, agendas, and meeting minutes, demonstrating the active involvement of the green team in the development and/or implementation of climate protection strategies within the past year. The green team must have met at least three times within the year prior to the submittal date.

Priority Action 2.1 Develop a Government Operations GHG Emissions Inventory - 8 Points

Submit: A copy of your most recent local government operations GHG inventory report. This can be a standalone document or included in an inventory report that also covers community emissions. The inventory must have been completed within five years prior to the application date and be substantially compliant with the Local Government Operations Protocol.

Priority Action 2.2 Develop a Community GHG Emissions Inventory - 8 Points

Submit: A copy of the most recent community GHG inventory report. This can be a standalone document or included in an inventory report that also covers government operations emissions. The inventory must have been completed within five years prior to the application date and be substantially compliant with the U.S. Community Protocol.

Priority Action 2.3 Establish a Government Operations Emissions Reduction Target - 4 Points

Submit: Formal documentation, such as a council resolution, report, formally adopted plan or memorandum stating the established emissions reduction target(s) for government operations. The targets may have been established at any time prior to the application date, as long as they are currently valid.

Priority Action 2.4 Establish a Community Emissions Reduction Target - 4 Points

Submit: Formal documentation, such as a council resolution, report, adopted plan or memorandum stating the established emissions reduction target(s) for the community. The targets may have been established at any time prior to the application date, as long as they are currently valid

Priority Action 2.5 Develop a Government Operations Climate Action Plan - 8 Points

Submit: A publicly released plan that outlines the steps that the government will take to reduce emissions associated with its municipal operations, along with documentation, either in the plan or separately, that demonstrates that the local government performed public outreach and/or made the draft plan publicly available for comment. The plan must have been released within five years prior to the application date.

Priority Action 2.6 Develop a Community Climate Action Plan - 8 Points

Submit: A publicly released plan that outlines the steps that the community will take to reduce emissions, along with documentation, either in the plan or separately, that demonstrates that the local government performed public outreach or made the draft plan publicly available for comment. The plan must have been released within five years prior to the application date and be substantially consistent with the Climate Smart Communities Climate Action Planning Guide and CSC Climate Action Plan Template.

Priority Action 3.1 Conduct Energy Audits of Local Government Buildings - 8 Points

Submit: Digital copies of an energy audit report for each building (or group of buildings) where an audit was performed. Audits must have been conducted within seven years prior to the application date. If several buildings were audited, local governments may submit a summary report as long as it provides the key findings and recommendations for each facility.

Priority Action 7.1 Conduct a Vulnerability Assessment - 8 Points

Submit: A copy of the most recent vulnerability assessment report, created within five years prior to the application date. If the vulnerability assessment was developed more than five years ago, it may be updated with new or updated data or projections, and submitted for credit.

Priority Action 7.3 Review Existing Community Plans, Policies and Projects to Identify Climate Adaptation Strategies as well as Policies or Projects that may Increase Vulnerability - 4 Points

Submit: A copy of the completed forms from the Climate Smart Resiliency Planning Tool and a summary of key findings. The review of existing plans and projects must have been completed within five years prior to the application date to be eligible for points.