Local Climate Action (2023)

Local Climate Action (1)

Having state and local governments lead by example on climate action is a key component of mitigating climate change in Pennsylvania and one of the strategies recommended in the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan.

The DEP Local Climate Action Program provides free technical and personnel assistance to local governments that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. In its first three years, LCAP has trained 53 cities, townships, boroughs, counties, and regional organizations, representing approximately 380 municipalities across the commonwealth.

The program is run by the DEP Energy Programs Office and funded by the State Energy Program of the U.S. Department of Energy.

If you'd like to participate in LCAP or learn more about the program, please contact Chris Nafe at chnafe@pa.gov or 717.783.9722.

“My administration has prioritized sustainability by identifying initiatives that demonstrate environmental, social, and financial benefits that will positively impact our residents' quality of life. The city's staff has also done an outstanding job utilizing the training, technical support, and available resources to shape and improve our future. I thank DEP for supporting the City of Reading in its transition to become more climate-resilient and a regional leader in renewable energy and sustainability.” -- City of Reading Mayor Eddie Moran, LCAP 2021-2022

"Planning and preparing for the future with sustainability and environmental health in mind will make our borough and families stronger." -- Shawn Alfonso Wells, Swissvale Borough Council member, LCAP 2021-2022

How LCAP Works

Cohorts: September - May

Local governments are matched with college students across the state. Teams are trained by a DEP contractor, ICLEI USA, to develop greenhouse inventories and climate action plans for their communities. Training begins in September and concludes in May and includes live webinars and one-on-one technical assistance from ICLEI. In the fall, teams focus on developing local greenhouse gas inventories, using ICLEI’s ClearPath inventory tool. In the spring, teams focus on developing a local climate action plan. This includes engaging the community in the planning process, via in-person workshops, virtual meetings, and/or online surveys.

Subscription option: Flexible timing

Recognizing that local governments engage in climate action under varying time frames and not all can participate in a September-May training cohort, DEP offers flexible access to ICLEI's technical staff and ClearPath inventory tool via a special subscription, so that communities can develop greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans at their own pace. Note: Communities with a population of 500,000 or more and communities that have had an active ICLEI membership since June 1, 2017, are ineligible for the subscription option.

Participant Resources

LCAP Participants

July 2021 - June 2022

July 2020 - June 2021

Accordion ‭[3]‬

(Video) COP26 Action Hub Event: Local Government Association: Frontline: climate action on the ground

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

July 2019 - June 2020

Accordion ‭[2]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

(Video) FCM/GMF - What does local climate action look like?

"The DEP Local Climate Action Program has greatly increased the capacity of our borough to make informed decisions about the adaptation and hazard mitigation we'll need to do to respond to the climate crisis. It's provided a guiding framework we are certain our community will use for decades." -- Taylor Lightman, director, Lewisburg Neighborhoods, LCAP 2021-2022

“Our interest in developing a local climate action plan began with an idea to install rooftop solar panels on our town hall. As we explored the costs and impact of that initiative, we realized we wanted to develop a more comprehensive, holistic approach to working to reduce climate change and prepare for its impacts." -- Sid Misra, Rutledge Borough Planning Commission member, LCAP 2021-2022

"Measuring greenhouse gas emissions at the local level is an important way for local governments to understand the impact that climate-altering pollutants have on our communities, and, just as importantly, helps them create strategies to reduce emissions. I've seen firsthand how emissions inventories can help develop community-driven strategies, and it's great to see DEP, our neighbors in the CONNECT communities, and ICLEI working together." -- Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, LCAP 2019-2020

Final Local Climate Action Plans

Congratulations to the following local governments, who have finalized their Climate Action Plans! A plan is considered final when the draft has been presented to and approved by the local governing body. The next step is implementation.

Shared Energy Manager and CAPstone

The following communities have participated in additional programs offered by DEP such as the Shared Energy Manager and the CAPstone program in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Performance through Excellence and therein started implementing aspects of the climate action plans they completed through the Local Climate Action Program:

Bellefonte Borough, Chester County, Elizabeth Township, Indiana Borough, City of Reading, Abington Township, Ben Avon Borough, Cumberland County, City of Easton, City of Shamokin, Munhall Borough, Jermyn Borough, Middletown Township, City of Lancaster, Sharpsburg Borough, Etna Borough, Millvale Borough , Forest Hills Borough, Centre Region Council of Governments

Knowledge Gained and Milestones Reached

Media event: City of Reading Climate Action

Local Climate Action (2)

(L-R) Heather Cowley, Energy Specialist with Pennsylvania DEP, Christian Crespo, Communications Director for the City of Reading, Stephanie Anderson, founder of the "Reading for 100, Reading City Council Member Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Dolores Martinez, special assistant to Reading Mayor Eddie Moran, Bethany Ayers-Fisher Sustainability Manager for Reading, and Christopher Nafe, Energy Specialist with Pennsylvania DEP.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell met with Reading officials and community volunteers on Thursday, April 21, 2022 to showcase the city's climate action for Earth Day. Reading participated in the Local Climate Action Program and Shared Energy Manager program from DEP and is in the process of finalizing their local climate action plan.

(Video) You Can Do This: Replicable Models for Local Climate Action w/ GreenRoots

Online forum: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: State and Local Government Resources and Best Practices

DEP hosted an online forum for LCAP participants on Wednesday, December 2. Thirty-five participants joined in a lively discussion of challenges and successes in climate action planning in their communities. They heard from DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell and staff at DEP, the Pennsylvania GreenGov Council, and the Departments of General Services and Conservation and Natural Resources on state resources that can help local climate efforts. For information and inspiration to help your climate action planning, view the recording.

Online forum: Solar Options for Municipal Operations, Residents, and Businesses

DEP hosted a second online forum for LCAP participants on Thursday, July 29. LCAP communities tuned in for a lively discussion of the wide variety of solar options for municipal operations, businesses, and residents in the Commonwealth. DEP Energy Programs Office Director Dave Althoff shared information on the PA Solar Future Plan, and then participants heard from their peers at Etna Borough and the City of Harrisburg on solar co-ops and municipal aggregation. The Pennsylvania Solar Center, Sustainable Pittsburgh, and DEP staff then explained the current state of utility-scale solar in the Commonwealth, several financing mechanisms for solar, and a program for making communities more amenable to solar.


What is a local climate action plan? ›

A locally adopted climate action plan (CAP) is a comprehensive policy tool outlining specific actions that a community will undertake to reduce GHG emissions and/or adaptation strategies the community will implement to counter the negative effects of climate change.

Why is local climate action important? ›

Thinking and acting at a local level helps communities fight climate change and build resilience to climate impacts. For instance, producing goods and food locally can lower the cost of transportation, reduce waste and help local economies.

What is local climate change? ›

Local Climate Change and Society examines how climate change has altered society's relationship with the environment and particularly local communities to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

What is the importance of having a local climate change action plan in the local government? ›

Communities can use a climate action plan as a tool to understand how risks to health may change in the future and what steps can be taken to ensure that health risks are managed, reduced or avoided.

What can local governments do about climate change? ›

Local governments can become leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By becoming more energy efficient, by using renewable energy sources for electricity, and by deploying renewable heating and coooling, cities, counties, and schools can save money while helping to combat and reduce climate pollution.

What are 10 ways to stop climate change? ›

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
  2. Walk, Bike (run, skate, move yourself!)
  3. Ride the bus to work (or carpool)
  4. Plant a tree.
  5. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning.
  6. Change a Light Bulb.
  7. Buy a fuel efficient car (or hybrid vehicle)
  8. Buy local goods and products.

What can a community do to prevent climate change? ›

Actions could include:
  1. Campaigning to produce behavioral change.
  2. Developing more sustainable commuting.
  3. Producing products and food locally.
  4. Providing services to people affected by climate change.
  5. Reducing the use of energy in buildings.
  6. Local solutions for sustainable energy access and transformation.

What can you do to help climate action? ›

18 Simple Things You Can Do About Climate Change
  1. 1) Bring your own bottle or mug. ...
  2. 2) Replace inefficient bulbs. ...
  3. 3) Turn off some lights. ...
  4. 4) Have a “2 degrees” goal at home. ...
  5. 5) Walk or bike somewhere you'd normally drive today. ...
  6. 6) Vote! ...
  7. 7) Plant something. ...
  8. 8) Take a hike.
8 Jan 2019

How much is the CAIP for 2022? ›

$539 for an individual. $270 for a spouse or common-law partner. $135 per child under 19. $270 for the first child in a single-parent family.

How does global change start with local action? ›

Global changes often begin when people take action locally. Communities around the globe are involved in creative community-based actions that promote mutual respect, social and economic justice, and gender and environmental balance.

What are the 5 effects of climate change? ›

Effects of Climate Change
  • Hotter temperatures. As greenhouse gas concentrations rise, so does the global surface temperature. ...
  • More severe storms. ...
  • Increased drought. ...
  • A warming, rising ocean. ...
  • Loss of species. ...
  • Not enough food. ...
  • More health risks. ...
  • Poverty and displacement.

What are local environmental issues? ›

Localized environmental health problems such as inadequate household water and sanitation and indoor air pollution. City-regional environmental problems such as ambient air pollution, inadequate waste management and pollution of rivers, lakes and coastal areas.

How can local environmental changes have global effects? ›

Changes in local environments can have global effects for several reasons. Animals, like birds, migrate from region to region. A change in one of their environments can cause behavioral changes which will affect other organisms living in these environments. Air and water move among regions.

Why should Philippines care and participate in climate change action? ›

Climate change could impact the Philippines' energy supply, as well as increasing energy consumption due to increased demand for air conditioning. Hydropower production, which accounts for 20% of the country's energy supply, is threatened by climate change-related water scarcity.

What are five things governments can do to help the environment? ›

Things the government can do to help the environment
  • Encourage Environmentally Friendly Employee Practices. ...
  • Making Environmentally Friendly Changes in Local Government Facilities. ...
  • Foster Clean Commute Initiatives. ...
  • Software Solutions Help to Reduce the Local Government Carbon Footprint.
13 Feb 2019

What are the programs in the Philippines on climate change? ›

These programs include the CCC's flagship capacity building program, the Communities for Resilience (CORE), the People's Survival Fund (PSF), and the Comprehensive Integrated Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Program for the Indigenous Peoples, among others.

How can governments reduce carbon emissions? ›

Some of the objectives set out by the Government include reducing the production of greenhouse gases through carbon budgets and carbon limits, utilisation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and using carbon values to ensure that project and policy appraisals account for their climate change impacts.

Who in the government is in charge of climate change? ›

Common Climate Change Questions

Understanding and addressing climate change is critical to EPA's mission of protecting human health and the environment. EPA tracks and reports greenhouse gas emissions, leverages sound science, and works to reduce emissions to combat climate change.

What is the most effective solution to climate change? ›

The main ways to stop climate change are to pressure government and business to: Keep fossil fuels in the ground. Fossil fuels include coal, oil and gas – and the more that are extracted and burned, the worse climate change will get. All countries need to move their economies away from fossil fuels as soon as possible.

How do you take action on the climate crisis? ›

“The climate emergency demands action from all of us.
  1. Spread the word. Encourage your friends, family and co-workers to reduce their carbon pollution. ...
  2. Keep up the political pressure. ...
  3. Transform your transport. ...
  4. Rein in your power use. ...
  5. Tweak your diet. ...
  6. Shop local and buy sustainable. ...
  7. Don't waste food. ...
  8. Dress (climate) smart.
16 Dec 2021

What are 5 ways to stop global warming? ›

10 Ways to Stop Global Warming
  1. Change a light. Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  2. Drive less. ...
  3. Recycle more. ...
  4. Check your tires. ...
  5. Use less hot water. ...
  6. Avoid products with a lot of packaging. ...
  7. Adjust your thermostat. ...
  8. Plant a tree.

What can a student do to prevent climate change? ›

Make sure the lights are off if you are the last to leave the classroom, take shorter showers, and consume less meat and dairy products are all good ways you can reduce your personal footprint. Taking the time to get involved in conservation efforts in your area is a great way you can help fight climate change.

How can you as a student help address climate change? ›

Here are six things high school students can do to help reduce climate change.
  1. Get Involved. ...
  2. Choose Renewable Energy and Encourage Adults To Do the Same. ...
  3. Vote With Your Wallet. ...
  4. Waste Less Water. ...
  5. Switch to LED Bulbs. ...
  6. Be Conscious of Unnecessary Energy Use.
11 Jun 2020

What is climate change short essay? ›

Climate change refers to the change in the environmental conditions of the earth. This happens due to many internal and external factors. The climatic change has become a global concern over the last few decades. Besides, these climatic changes affect life on the earth in various ways.

Is the climate action incentive a monthly payment? ›

The Climate action incentive payment (CAIP) is a quarterly benefit for residents of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan paid to help offset the cost of the federal pollution pricing.

Is CAIP based on income? ›

The payments made in July 2022, October 2022, January 2023 and April 2023 are based on your adjusted family net income for the 2021 tax year. The maximum annual climate action tax credit payment amounts are: $357.50 each for you and your spouse or common-law partner (or the first child in a single parent family).

Do we get a carbon tax rebate in 2022? ›

Climate Action Incentive Payment Dates in 2022

You will receive a double payment on the 15th of July 2022. After that, you will receive single payments on: October 15, 2022. January 15, 2023.

How should a community respond to changes in their environment? ›

Communities are able to respond by making changes in the time and location of activities, by using different species, by developing or using new technologies, and by organizing themselves internally or in networks. The possible responses a community can make on its own constitute the autonomous response space.

What measures will you suggest to combat climate change in your village city? ›

Afforestation should be encouraged in and around play areas, hillsides, schools, etc. Deforestation should be avoided strictly. The use of public transport should be enabled to lessen vehicular pollution. Thus, the emission of harmful gases such as CO2, etc., can be prevented.

How can we lessen the effect of climate change essay? ›

Ways to Prevent Global Warming

Firstly, we must stop deforestation in all forms. Do not cut down more trees as it will only worsen the level of carbon dioxide in the air. Instead, encourage people to plant even more trees to create a fine balance in nature. Moreover, it reduces the usage of energy everywhere.

How does climate change affect human life? ›

Climate change is already impacting health in a myriad of ways, including by leading to death and illness from increasingly frequent extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, storms and floods, the disruption of food systems, increases in zoonoses and food-, water- and vector-borne diseases, and mental health issues.

How climate affect our life? ›

The impacts of climate change include warming temperatures, changes in precipitation, increases in the frequency or intensity of some extreme weather events, and rising sea levels. These impacts threaten our health by affecting the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the weather we experience.

What are the main causes of climate change essay? ›

Carbon dioxide is the main cause of human-induced climate change. It has been emitted in vast quantities from the burning of fossil fuels and it is a very long-lived gas, which means it continues to affect the climate system during its long residence time in the atmosphere.

How will you address the local environmental issues? ›

Here are 5 simple ways you can help the environment and spark others to become more environmentally aware.
  • Replace disposable items with reusable. ...
  • Pass on paper. ...
  • Conserve water & electricity. ...
  • Support local & environmentally friendly. ...
  • Recycle (& then recycle properly)
1 Jun 2019

What does local environment mean? ›

The local environment is a portion of the total surroundings in contact with the system boundaries. It must be large enough for all of its intensive properties to be constant, and it must be insensitive to state changes of the system.

What are the solutions to environmental problems? ›

The following are some of the most common environmental solutions:
  • Use reusable products, instead of disposable items: Anything one uses and discards could wind up in a landfill for generations. ...
  • Pass on Paper: ...
  • Save Water and save electricity: ...
  • Start buying local: ...
  • Recycle Properly:

Why do we need to stop climate change? ›

Climate change won't just impact forest, or coral reefs, or even people in far-off countries – it will affect all of us. From more extreme weather to increasing food prices, to recreation and decreased opportunities to appreciate the natural world, people everywhere will feel its effects.

Why is climate change an important issue? ›

Climate change is already impacting human health. Changes in weather and climate patterns can put lives at risk. Heat is one of the most deadly weather phenomena. As ocean temperatures rise, hurricanes are getting stronger and wetter, which can cause direct and indirect deaths.

What is the impact of climate change on development? ›

Climate change will exacerbate problems related rapid population growth, existing poverty and a heavy reliance on agriculture and the environment. Developing countries have a much more limited capacity to cope with the problems caused by climate change.

What are the 3 main effects of climate change? ›

The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the duration and intensity of tropical storms.

What is climate change examples? ›

Droughts are becoming longer and more extreme around the world. Tropical storms becoming more severe due to warmer ocean water temperatures. As temperatures rise there is less snowpack in mountain ranges and polar areas and the snow melts faster. Overall, glaciers are melting at a faster rate.

What is climate change its causes effects and solutions? ›

While global warming focuses on the rising average temperature of the planet, climate change usually refers to the shifts in things like precipitation, wind patterns, and temperatures over a given period. Measured changes in climate could last a few years, decades, or even millions of years.

What should be included in a climate action plan? ›

Climate action plans, at a minimum, include an inventory of existing emissions, reduction goals or targets, and analyzed and prioritized reduction actions. Ideally, a climate action plan also includes an implementation strategy that identifies required resources and funding mechanisms.

How do you write a climate action plan? ›

Developing a climate action plan is an iterative process that sets preliminary goals, evaluates specific measures, calculates financial impact, and then revises the goals.
  • Set Preliminary Goals. ...
  • Evaluate Specific Measures. ...
  • Determine Acceptable Financial Criteria. ...
  • Revise Goals.

What are some climate change policies? ›

11 policy ideas to protect the planet
  • Set local emissions goals.
  • Be smart about your air conditioner.
  • Encourage electric vehicles.
  • Be smart about nuclear power.
  • Make it easier to live without cars.
  • Prevent wasted food — the right way.
  • Incentivize carbon farming.
  • Curb the effects of meat and dairy.
2 Jan 2019

What are five things governments can do to help the environment? ›

Things the government can do to help the environment
  • Encourage Environmentally Friendly Employee Practices. ...
  • Making Environmentally Friendly Changes in Local Government Facilities. ...
  • Foster Clean Commute Initiatives. ...
  • Software Solutions Help to Reduce the Local Government Carbon Footprint.
13 Feb 2019

What are the 7 priorities in the National Climate Action Plan? ›

NCCAP outlines the roadmap for adaptation and mitigation from 2011 to 2028 and focuses on seven strategic priorities (food security, water sufficiency, ecological and environmental stability, human security, climate-friendly industries and services, sustainable energy and knowledge and capacity development).

How much does a climate action plan cost? ›

The plan, which aims for an 80% reduction of greenhouse gases below 1990 levels by 2050, would cost an estimated $18 billion in 2035 and $27 billion in 2045.

When did climate action plans start? ›

Fact Sheet | Timeline of Progress Made in President Obama's Climate Action Plan. On June 25th, 2013, President Obama announced his Climate Action Plan (CAP) during a speech at Georgetown University.

What will be the actions needed to be taken in order to combat climate change and global warming? ›

Drive more efficiently. In particular, observe speed limits and avoid rapid acceleration and excessive breaking. Don't drive aggressively. Switch to “green power.” Switch to electricity generated by energy sources with low—or no—routine emissions of carbon dioxide.

How does the Philippines address climate change? ›

The Philippines climate change policy

In order to adapt to and mitigate climate change, the Philippines passed the Climate Change Act in 2009, requiring local governments to develop a local climate change action plan, or LCCAP.

Are climate action plans required in California? ›

California Climate Policies

Landmark legislation requiring California to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and appointing CARB to develop policies (ultimately including the state's cap-and-trade program) to achieve this goal.

What are the 3 basic policy approaches to climate change? ›

The major greenhouse gas reduction policy approaches under consideration fall into three main categories: carbon pricing, technology subsidies, and performance standards.

What is being done to stop climate change? ›

For example, improvements to energy efficiency and vehicle fuel economy, increases in wind and solar power, biofuels from organic waste, setting a price on carbon, and protecting forests are all potent ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases trapping heat on the planet.

What can a student do to prevent climate change? ›

Make sure the lights are off if you are the last to leave the classroom, take shorter showers, and consume less meat and dairy products are all good ways you can reduce your personal footprint. Taking the time to get involved in conservation efforts in your area is a great way you can help fight climate change.

What is the most effective solution to climate change? ›

The main ways to stop climate change are to pressure government and business to: Keep fossil fuels in the ground. Fossil fuels include coal, oil and gas – and the more that are extracted and burned, the worse climate change will get. All countries need to move their economies away from fossil fuels as soon as possible.

What is the role of the local government in protecting the environment? ›

Municipalities may also work together with public authorities such as Water Boards on water quality and wastewater treatment. The municipalities are responsible for preparing regulations for implementing and enforcing the regulations in the national Environmental Management Act and other environmental regulations.

How can the government reduce environmental problems? ›

To reduce pollution, the government can use four main policies – tax to raise the price, subsidise alternatives, regulations to ban certain pollutants and pollution permits.
  • Pollution Permits. ...
  • Subsidies. ...
  • Regulation. ...
  • Changing consumer behaviour.
26 May 2019


1. FCM/GMF - What does local climate action look like?
(FCM Channel English)
2. Global and Local Climate Action on the Path to Paris
(The Christian Science Monitor)
3. Sustainable Development Goal 13 - Climate Action - Ben Newell
(UNSW eLearning)
4. Sweden’s carbon budget challenge – turning Paris’ aspirations into local climate action, part 1
(Uppsala universitet)
5. Local Climate Change Action Planning in the Philippines
(adelphi, Berlin)
6. Further and Faster – local climate action and the role of the Global Covenant of Mayors
(ICLEI Global)
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