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Community Action on Climate Change

Climate Smart Communities: A Network of Leaders

New York State currently has more than 200 Registered Climate Smart Communities and 17 Certified Climate Smart Communities.

  • Bronze Certified CSCs: Village of Dobbs Ferry; City of Kingston; Ulster County
  • Certified CSCs: City of Albany; Town of Cortlandt; Town of East Hampton; City of Ithaca; Town of Ithaca; Madison County; Town of Mamaroneck; Orange County; City of Rochester; Schenectady County; Town of Southampton; Sullivan County; Tompkins County; City of Watervliet
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Step One - Take the Climate Smart Communities Pledge to join the network.

By taking the Climate Smart Communities Pledge, your community expresses its commitment to taking action on climate change and becomes a Registered Climate Smart Community. Becoming a member of the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program is free and voluntary; there are no fees or legal requirements.

Registered and Certified CSCs who apply for funding from the Climate Smart Communities Grant Program receive more points in the scoring process compared to applicants who are not members of the CSC network. Participation also benefits your municipality through leadership recognition and access to technical assistance and other New York State resources. With support from regional coordinators, each Climate Smart Community defines its own best strategies for cutting energy use, reducing emissions, and adapting to climate change. The CSC Program is one of the few places where local governments can find free technical support that is tailored to the needs of New York State communities.

Take the CSC Pledge and become part of this dedicated group of municipal leaders who have committed to the following objectives:

Rain Collection Barrel
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)
  • Save taxpayer dollars
  • Increase energy security and reliability
  • Build resiliency to the impacts of climate change
  • Advance community goals for public health and safety
  • Support a green innovation economy

Want more information on what local governments can do to act on climate change? Look through our page on Climate Smart Communities Certification.

Step Two - Move toward certification by reducing GHGs and taking action to protect your community.

The CSC Certification Program helps organize and guide municipal action on climate change. The resources and priorities laid out the in CSC Certification Program Guide to Local Action can help your community design a customized strategy to address key local concerns.

Get started by reviewing the "How to Get Certified" page and by reading through the CSC Certification First Steps Guide (PDF, 333 KB). This introductory guide provides an overview of the CSC Certification Program and describes resources for completing the 13 priority actions that are the foundation of a successful local climate change campaign.

The CSC Certification Program recognizes more than 130 actions to choose from (PDF, 215 KB) when your community works toward certification. A path to certification can come with economic benefits, improved emergency preparedness, expanded community participation, and the knowledge needed to allocate resources wisely.

The Office of Climate Change administers two funding programs for municipalities under Title 15 of the Environmental Protection Fund, "Climate Smart Community Projects." Funding is available from the Climate Smart Communities Grant Program for a variety of climate adaptation, mitigation and certification actions. Funding is also available through the Municipal Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) & ZEV Infrastructure Rebate Program for clean vehicles and for infrastructure to recharge or refuel clean vehicles.

More about Community Action on Climate Change:

  • A Guide to Local Action - Guide for cities, towns, villages and counties that want to combat climate change and boost a green economy.
  • Climate Smart Communities Resources and Services - A variety of free resources, support, and learning tools are available to Climate Smart Communities and all communities across New York State.
  • How to Get Certified - A more robust framework to guide local governments climate actions and to provide recognition to leading communities.