State and Local Climate and Energy Program
Tribal Climate and Energy Information
- DOE Tribal Energy Program
- DOI Tribal Energy and Information Clearinghouse
- EPA Climate Showcase Community Grant Program
- EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator
- EPA State and Local Climate and Energy Program
- Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
- Northern Arizona University: Tribes and Climate Change
There are 564 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes in the United States. Each tribe is distinct by its history, language, culture and traditions. Tribal Nations are sovereign entities with the inherent right to self governance and self determination.
The United States government and Tribal Nations share a unique government to government relationship. State, local and tribal governments share common interests and responsibilities in resource management, services, environmental and economic sectors. Partnering on economic and environmental projects has the potential to increase economic growth, environmental sustainability, and improved health for all citizens through continued communication and collaboration.
For more information on Tribal Communities please visit the following: EPA American Indian Tribal Portal National Congress of the American Indians
Tribal Communities and Climate Change
Several American Indian and Alaska Native communities whose health, economic well-being, and cultural traditions depend upon the natural environment are taking steps to mitigate climate change.
The Tribal Communities page of EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy site is designed to be a resource for tribal communities interested in implementing climate change mitigation and energy management projects that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to slow the rate of climate change and its impacts on economic and cultural sustainability.
At the same time, climate mitigation actions can generate a range of potential near- and long-term benefits such as improved air quality, economic and workforce development, public health, and reduced energy costs. Tribal communities can adapt the information presented here and incorporate traditional knowledge and practices into climate projects.
The Tribal Communities page contains links to EPA resources as well as sites outside of EPA with information that can help tribes reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, land use planning, renewable energy, transportation, water/wastewater, and waste management. This page also provides information on collaborating with state and local governments, organizations, and Tribal Colleges and Universities for funding and partnering opportunities. Examples of how tribes are implementing climate change mitigation and energy management projects through EPA's Climate Showcase Community Grant program can be accessed below.
EPA plans to expand the Tribal Communities page with more information as it is developed; please revisit this page for updates.
Tribal Communities Topics
- Impacts and Benefits
- Climate Action Areas
- Climate Action Planning
- Tribal Examples
Impacts and Benefits
Tribal communities face regionally diverse impacts of climate change that have the potential to affect their cultures and economies. Implementing climate change mitigation and energy management projects may enhance tribal efforts to improve air quality, promote public health and reduce energy costs that may increase opportunities in economic and workforce development.
Climate Action Areas
Tribal communities can develop climate change mitigation strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, residential energy efficiency, utility programs, land use planning, renewable energy, transportation, water/wastewater, and waste and materials management. Tribal communities can adapt climate and energy information and tools to address specific tribal community needs, policies, and programs.
Climate Action Planning
Communities seeking to develop climate and energy mitigation projects to reduce greenhouse emissions can access information and planning tools on Northern Arizona University's Climate Change and Tribes website section on Planning. EPA's Local Climate and Energy Program resources can be adapted to fit tribal communities' project planning needs and include:
- Developing an Action Plan
- Developing a GHG Inventory
- Identifying and Evaluating Policy Options
- Designing and Implementing Programs
- Establishing Funding Sources and Financing Vehicles
- Leading by Example in Government Operations
- Engaging Stakeholders
- Determining Results
Tribal communities and state and local governments can collaborate on developing mutually beneficial relationships for climate and energy projects. Tribal communities can contribute perspectives in discussions at the state, local, and national levels that will increase the possibility of cohesive regional solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Tribal communities may also seek to partner with tribal national and regional organizations and environmental organizations (PDF) (56 pp, 268K, About PDF) for funding and project development opportunities.
Tribal nations may require funding to plan and implement climate and energy projects. Communities can research opportunities for funding from state and local governments, tribal regional and national organizations, and federal entities.
In this archived webcast, learn how Gila River Indian Community and Choctaw Nation are reducing greenhouse gas emissions through recycling and energy efficiency audits, and learn how the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin is integrating climate change considerations into its overall decision-making and in its water management programs. Two of these tribes have implemented a variety of clean energy projects under EPA's Climate Showcase Communities program: Gila River has completed a community-wide greenhouse gas inventory and developed programs for curbside recycling, energy-efficient lighting, and green buildings; Choctaw Nation is implementing a project to improve energy efficiency throughout its hospital system. This December 11, 2012 webcast also provides information about resources and funding ideas to help tribal governments design and implement climate change programs.
U.S. EPA Webcast: Tribal Approaches to Address the Changing Climate
On December 11, 2012, U.S. EPA's Office of Atmospheric Programs hosted a webcast, “Tribal Approaches to Address the Changing Climate,” to showcase tribes that are implementing energy conservation, materials recycling, and adaptation programs. View the files below to:
- Learn how Gila River Indian Community and Choctaw Nation are reducing greenhouse gas emissions through recycling and energy efficiency audits.
- Learn how the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin is integrating climate change considerations into its decision-making and water management programs.
- Learn about resources and funding ideas to design and implement climate change programs that may be right for your tribe.
Part 2: Welcome | Beth Craig, U.S. EPA
Podcast (MP3) (3:27, 1.6M)
Part 7: Opportunities for Tribal Engagement in Climate Change Policies and Programs | Kathy Lynn, University of Oregon and Garrit Voggesser, National Wildlife Federation
Podcast (MP3) (28:12, 13.2M) | Presentation (PDF) (16 pp, 1.7M)
Part 10: Q and A Session
Podcast (MP3) (6:33, 3.1M)