Energy, Air Quality and Climate
- Find videos from EPA's Smart Growth Program and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities on our Webinars, Videos, and Podcasts page. Here, you can watch how communities across the country are putting smart growth in action!
- Check out EPA’s Smart Location Database, a consistent nationwide data resource for measuring location efficiency. It includes over 90 variables characterizing the built environment, transit service, destination accessibility, employment, and demographics at the census block group scale. You can download data for your selected region, view data online in an interactive map, or access the data through a variety of web services.
- EPA hosts the Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series to assist local governments as they explore and plan climate change and clean energy efforts. Check out the upcoming webcasts here.
For over the past 200 years, the combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, and deforestation has caused the concentrations of heat-trapping "greenhouse gases" to increase significantly in our atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are necessary to life as we know it, but, as the concentrations of these gases continue to increase in the atmosphere, the Earth's temperature is climbing above past levels.
Local governments and citizens can take action to combat climate change. Strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions also frequently result in air quality improvements. These solutions include energy conservation and the use of renewable energy resources, use of clean fuel and fuel efficient technologies, and other strategies. To find out what local governments can do to fight climate change, look at the Energy, Air Quality and Climate Chapter of Planning for a Sustainable Future - A Guide for Local Governments [PDF 4.9 MB, 58 pp].
What You Can Do
The best way to increase your community’s energy sustainability is through conservation. Increase energy efficiency and save money for your local government by taking the Energy Star Challenge. The federal government also offers energy tax credits for consumers, private home builders, manufactures, and commercial builders.
- Enroll your public facilities in the Energy Star Challenge and reduce energy consumption by 10 percent.
- Get the facts on your community’s energy source.
- Learn about renewable energy incentive programs that are available
The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote Energy Star products throughout the offices and facilities of the San Juan government in 2002. The mayor’s endorsement has saved the city thousands of dollars while conserving energy at the same time.