Climate Change and Energy

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ICMA's Center for Sustainable communities provides knowledge resources and technical assistance on leading practices at the intersection of sustainability and local government management.

Included in the Center for Sustainable Communities research is the Breaking New Ground: Promoting Environmental and Energy Programs in Local Government report that presents findings of the largest study of local government sustainability practices ever conducted. The survey found that a large majority of the localities responding to the survey were at an “early stage” of adopting sustainability initiatives. While over 80% of localities reported initiatives in the area of recycling, transportation, and building energy use, adoption rates were much lower for other sustainability initiatives such as alternative energy generation and workplace alternatives. The case studies go beyond the survey results to discuss how each community linked their sustainability initiatives to broader community goals. The report concludes with seven action steps that local governments can take in developing a long-term, integrated approach to environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

Addressing Climate Change is a key component of creating more sustainable communities. The Getting Smart About Climate Change report addresses new growth and development in a way that reduces their impact on the environment and their contributions to global climate change while supporting economic development and social equity–related goals while outlining nine strategies for successfully applying smart growth principles to climate concerns on the local and regional levels.

Solar energy

As state and local governments seek to implement solar energy, it is helpful to know where to turn for financial assistance. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) provides a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. DSIRE was established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. 

alternative fuel vehicles

ICMA has been active in studying the use of alternative fuel vehicles in city fleets. Visit the Energy Efficiency topic  for related articles, documents and Q & A.