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Resources for Local Governments

Community Action on Climate Change

Climate Smart Communities

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Climate Smart Communities (leaves DEC website) is a New York State program that helps local governments take steps in their communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
Local governments begin by adopting the climate smart pledge and becoming a Registered Climate Smart Community. To achieve certification, communities accumulate points for planning and implementation actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve community adaptation and resilience to the worsening impacts of climate change. Many of the actions completed by certified Climate Smart Communities help local leaders identify how best to reduce local vulnerability to climate impacts and help New York State meet its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction mandates.

The benefits of participating in the Climate Smart Communities Certification program include:

  • Better scores on grant applications for some state funding programs, like Climate Smart Communities Grants
  • State-level recognition for each community's leadership
  • A robust framework to organize local climate action and highlight priorities
  • Streamlined access to resources, training, tools, and expert guidance
  • Networking and sharing best practices with peers

Climate Smart Communities Coordinators (leaves DEC website) provide free support services and technical assistance to local governments across the state in pursuit of Climate Smart Communities certification. Coordinators will assist and support local governments in taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change through outreach, planning, education, and capacity building.

people holding sign
Climate Smart Communities helps local governments take action in their communities to mitigate and
adapt to climate change. Certified Climate Smart Communities are recognized as climate action
leaders in New York State.

Learn more about becoming a Climate Smart Community (leaves DEC website).
electrical vehicle charging station
Grant funding programs are available from DEC
for municipalities to purchase electric fleet
vehicles and install electric vehicle charging stations.

New York State Grants for Climate Action

DEC and other State agencies provide grant funding opportunities to local governments for climate change assessment, planning, mitigation, and adaptation within their municipal operations and communities, including funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and rebates for zero-emission fleet vehicles.

Learn more about New York State Grants for Climate Action.

NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities

Clean Energy Communities (leaves DEC website) is a program administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The program rewards local governments for completing high-impact clean energy actions within their municipal operations and communities through eligibility for grant funding, which can be used to complete more actions that reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program Climate-Adaptive Communities

DEC Hudson River Estuary Program and its partners make guidance, resources, and funding available for communities in the Hudson River Estuary to adapt and improve resilience to climate change. Explore current funding opportunities (leaves DEC website).

NYS DEC Mohawk River Basin Program

DEC provides funding through the Mohawk River Basin Program to implement priorities outlined in the Mohawk River Basin Program Action Agenda, including projects that reduce flood hazard risk and enhance flood resilience. Explore Mohawk River watershed grant opportunities.

NYS DOS Ocean and Great Lakes Program

The Department of State (DOS) Ocean and Great Lakes Program (leaves DEC website) collaborates with local, State, and federal agencies to advance planning, policy, and projects that address the connections between ocean and Great Lakes ecosystem health, economic vitality, and community well-being, and how climate change is impacting these connections.

NYS DOS Community Resilience Planning (Department of State)

The DOS Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure (leaves DEC website) works with communities to increase their resilience to climate change impacts, particularly coastal flooding.

More about Resources for Local Governments:

  • Climate Smart Communities Coordinators - Climate Smart Communities Coordinators are available to provide free support services to municipalities across the state as part of the Climate Smart Communities program.
  • Grants for Climate Action - Grant funding available to municipalities through DEC Office of Climate Change.
  • Contact for this Page
  • Office of Climate Change
    625 Broadway, Ninth Floor
    Albany, NY 12233-1030
    Send us an email
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