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State and Local Climate and Energy Program

Getting Started

Approaches for Getting Started

EPA’s Local Climate and Energy Program helps local governments develop climate change mitigation programs that advance multiple community priorities. When starting to develop climate change and clean energy policies and programs, local governments can consider the following approaches:

  1. Employ cost-effective strategies to maximize program benefits:
  2. Create climate change mitigation programs with multiple benefits to:
    • Leverage funding from and achieve results for other programs
    • Strengthen a comprehensive sustainability approach at the local level
    • Help elevate climate change mitigation as a priority during decision-making
    • Generate support from leadership
  3. Lead by Example (LBE) by implementing climate and clean energy programs in government operations to:
    • Build capacity at the local government level
    • Save money that can be reinvested into local government operations
    • Build government credibility for outreach with other sectors
    • Demonstrate leadership

Local governments can apply these considerations during the process of developing and implementing a climate change mitigation strategy.

Using the Website

Throughout this website, local governments can access and learn about proven, cost-effective best practices, peer exchange opportunities, and analytical tools. To begin planning and implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within their jurisdictions, local governments can consider developing climate and clean energy programs and policies in these areas:

Climate change and clean energy policies and programs can reduce GHG emissions, lower energy costs, improve air quality and public health, and help achieve economic development goals. To learn more about the benefits and risks that can be associated with climate change and climate mitigation efforts, visit:

The paths to reducing GHG emissions are varied, rarely linear, and almost always build upon the motivation of a champion or group of champions within the community (e.g., mayor, city council member, staff experts). Local governments typically undertake the following activities when developing and implementing a comprehensive climate change mitigation strategy or specific climate mitigation programs and policies related to sustainability and energy conservation. To learn more about these activities, visit:

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